Taking climate action

1. Climate change impacts

Climate change is a pressing issue that affects us all. In our City, we are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, with higher temperatures lasting for longer, and adverse weather events becoming more intense. 

To lessen the impacts, the most important thing we can all do is prevent greenhouse gas emissions (also referred to as 'carbon emissions') from being released into the atmosphere as a result of our activities.

2. CitySwitch

Now more than ever, there is a need for the Australian business community to shift their focus to more efficient and sustainable operations and lower their exposure to climate change and energy price impacts.

If you are an office-based business looking to reduce carbon emissions and improve business performance through sustainability practices and technologies, then CitySwitch is for you. 

Joining CitySwitch is free. Members have access to a dedicated program manager and receive a range of tools and case studies to help improve their sustainable business operations.

About the program

About the program

CitySwitch is a free program that assists office-based businesses to reduce their environmental footprint, and is helping commercial office tenants around Australia to:

  • enhance energy efficiency and reduce costs;

  • manage energy price increases and mitigate business risks;

  • work towards a carbon positive future;

  • reduce waste; and

  • improve the health and productivity of employees.

A CitySwitch program manager is on hand to provide guidance and support to businesses and to help them set goals.

 CitySwitch also provides tools, guidelines and incentives to assist businesses to improve their sustainability,  benefiting the environment, staff, marketing and the bottom line. 

Business requirements

What's required of businesses  

To become a CitySwitch Green Office Signatory, organisations are required to:

  • commence a benchmark indicative NABERS energy tenancy rating of their office within 3 months;

  • develop and implement an energy action plan to achieve and maintain a 4 stars or higher accredited NABERS energy tenancy;

  • appoint an Energy Manager to monitor actual performance;

  • request a NABERS Eenergy base building rating from the building owner/manager;

  • promote energy efficiency to staff, customers and suppliers and share their experiences with other signatories; and

  • provide feedback on their success in an annual progress report.

Reporting and Recognition

September/October is the annual CitySwitch progress reporting period. This is a time when businesses measure their performance over the previous 12 months. 

In November, the annual CitySwitch Awards are held to showcase signatories that have demonstrated outstanding environmental leadership. The awards give recognition to those who have improved, maintained or achieved their NABERS Energy tenancy or whole building rating and have reported significant energy savings.

Signatories are judged at a state level across a number of categories, with winners from each state going into the running for the National awards. Levels of involvement range from behaviour changes through to infrastructure changes.

View this short video by the City of Adelaide to learn more about the program including examples from signatories.

How we can help

A limited number of complimentary visits from a sustainable business consultant are available for City of Unley businesses that sign up to CitySwitch.

This incentive includes support to calculate an indicative NABERS Energy Rating and a site visit to help identify useful sustainability actions, resources and incentives that your organisation may wish to utilise/implement to get you started with CitySwitch. This service is available once the signatory form is received. 

Please note, this is a limited offer until the allocation has been exhausted.

Join CitySwitch

To join the CitySwitch program and become a CitySwitch signatory, office-based businesses in the City of Unley, you will need to follow these simple steps:

Upon receipt and processing of your letter, you will be acknowledged as a new signatory and receive a Commitment Certificate from the Mayor.

For further questions, please contact the Greater Metro Program Manager for CitySwitch on (03) 9658 7821 or email danielle.king@melbourne.vic.gov.au


3. Climate change and your business

Below are some practical and cost effective ways that you can reduce your businesses carbon footprint:

  • install energy efficient lighting (LED or other energy-saving light bulbs) and switch lights off when they're not being used (either manually or via automatic sensors);  
  • purchase energy-saving office equipment e.g. computers, LCD monitors, printers and photocopiers;
  • encourage staff to switch off all of their equipment at the end of the work day;
  • improve insulation with energy efficient windows and doors;
  • manage heating and cooling systems by turning the thermostat up or down by one or two degrees depending on the season to reduce energy demand. Set the thermostat up or down by 10 to 15 degrees at night when no one is around;
  • maintain all equipment so it is working at its highest efficiency;
  • promote sustainable travel to and from work and meetings, e.g. riding, walking, e-scooters, taking public transport;
  • use energy-efficient or electric cars as fleet vehicles; and
  • re-consider air travel requirements if online meetings can be held instead.

4. City of Unley takes action

The City of Unley aims to be carbon neutral for its corporate emissions by December 2030. We are taking steps to actively reduce our impacts and help slow climate change.

Taking these measures will have a long-term positive impact on Council's operating budget by lowering the ongoing costs of fuel and electricity, reducing our vulnerability to price increases and improving our organisation's resilience as we transition to a low carbon economy.