EarthCheck: Sustainable Communities Program
In March 2009, Council resolved to undertake the EarthCheck (previously known as Green Globe)
Sustainable Communities accreditation program. The reasons Council chose EarthCheck include:
- It is applicable globally as well as locally
- Is essentially the performance measurement and promotional tool to achieve the goals, targets and actions of the Environment Strategy once adopted
- Addresses the activities of the municpality as a whole as well as the Council organisation which is expected to lead by example.
- It targets community participation
- Uses world-leading indicators and measures that are maintained to achieve global standards
The benefits of becoming a EarthCheck Sustainable Community may include:
- Contribute to the protection of local and global environmental quality
- Promotes being less wasteful and more efficient
- Enhancement of relations between Council and the local community through partnerships
- Helps attract ethical investment
- Achieve annual environmental reporting which could be used as part of a triple bottom line reporting process
- Complies with international sustainable tourism certified programme (Mohonk Agreement)
- Guides responsible and sustainable environmental and social outcomes for communities
- Provides communities with a framework to benchmark their environmental and social performance, to certify their performance and to continuously improve their performance
- Leadership by local government and an integrated and inclusive approach to support sustainable outcomes.
- Empowers local communities and builds on local initiatives
- Underpins a clear sustainable vision for a community, as well as focusing on sound planning systems to help achieve the vision
The accreditation benchmarking indicators are:
- Commitment – Sustainability Policy
- Energy Consumption
- Potable water consumption
- Waste to landfill
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Air Quality (nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxides and particulate matter)
- Water Quality
- Biodiversity Conservation
- Green space
- Business Environmental Accreditation
- Metered water
- Community satisfaction
Click here for the one page EarthCheck_Promotional_Flyer
After an exhaustive 6 months accumulating data about energy and water consumption, waste production, air and water quality and biodiversity and greenspace across Mansfield Shire, Council has now submitted the information to EarthCheck for benchmarking against other destinations.
As Council has previously consulted with the community on their views about sustainability, the communities’ visions and goals will be combined with the benchmarking results and working with the community again, plans drawn up to design ways to protect ourselves and environment from future changes and impacts and reduce consumption and waste.
Mansfield Shire is now well on its way to becoming the first EarthCheck benchmarked community in Australia and is leading the way along a path that many Local Governments are expected to follow in years to come through developing a clear picture of the impact of the shire as a whole, and then take action to target problem areas and strengthen community resilience.
Mansfield Shire has achieved EarthCheck benchmarked level certification becoming the first community in Australia to do so.The Shire reached or passed the baseline across all indicators except Business Environmental Accreditation. The results will now be merged with the community engagement report and the Environment Stragegy and an action plan will be developed in consultation with the community. The next steps involve monitoring improvements in performance once the action plan gets underway then assessment for full accreditation. Council will also undertake an internal review and plan for organisational improvements in resource consumption and waste production.
Mansfield Shire is now profiled on the the EarthCheck website - click on the link below to access
The benchmarking report can be found below.