Shaping sustainability policy through strategic conversations

City of Sydney Council

Planning for net zero energy buildings in Greater Sydney consultation

The City of Sydney won the 2021 Local Government Planning Award and the 2021 Planning Institute of Australia (NSW) Climate Change and Resilience Award for its Planning for Net Zero Energy Buildings Project.

The project team collaborated extensively with stakeholders for three years to develop energy performance standards for net zero energy buildings, to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across Greater Sydney.

In April 2021, Cred Consulting was tasked by the City to design and facilitate the final stakeholder engagement sessions for the project, which sought to seek endorsement for the proposed step changes in energy performance standards in planning controls, prior to their finalisation and endorsement.

How we did it

The engagement occurred during a time of COVID-19 health restrictions, and so was tailored to adhere to health restrictions. Our program included an online workshop with 27 Local Government and Greater Sydney Commission stakeholders, which was facilitated by the Cred Consulting team and an industry and government stakeholder briefing. Cred designed the agenda, and our Associate Director, Jen Guice, was lead facilitator for the event, which was filmed in studio and live-streamed.

The briefing was opened by the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Lord Mayor of Sydney, and attended by 185 stakeholders. In addition to a program of high-profile presenters, the program included a live Q&A panel, facilitated by Jen Guice. Cred also prepared a report on the briefing for Councillors at the City of Sydney Council.

Cred provided strategic communications and engagement advice to the project.

The outcome

As a result of the engagement sessions, the City of Sydney was able to understand level of support for the proposed performance standards by stakeholder cohort, understand challenges to implementation and strengthen relationships.

The planning controls were unanimously supported by the City of Sydney Council and the Central Sydney Planning Committee to go on public exhibition in November 2021.