Sustainable Council

As a result of significant urban development and population growth within the Camden Local Government Area, Council faces significant challenges in maintaining the rural charm and lifestyle that is so highly valued. Finding a balance that will accommodate this growth and create a sustainable environment, community and economy for the benefit of our current and future populations.

The following sustainability programs and initiatives demonstrates Council’s commitment to sustainability:

Camden: Towards Net Zero

The impacts of climate change are already being felt across the world. In Camden, an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is already being experienced. These climate changes are costly, disruptive to our lives and threaten the health of people and the natural environment.

To help protect our community and the local environment Council recognises that urgent action is required to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C.

Council has adopted Camden: Towards Net Zero that provides a pathway for Council operations to reach net zero by 2050 with an interim target to achieve 50% emissions reduction by 2030 compared to 2018-19 levels.

This Strategy and action plan covers six key themes:

  1. Energy - our buildings, facilities and assets are energy efficient and powered by renewable energy.
  2. Waste - our waste diversion rates will be increased through continual improvement.
  3. Goods and Services - commitment to progressively lower emissions through our purchased goods and services.
  4. Built Environment - our buildings and facilities will have low or zero emissions.
  5. Transport and Plant - our staff fleet vehicles, operational vehicles and plant fleet will include low emission options.
  6. Emissions Management - we have the skills, knowledge and systems to allow us to understand and track our emissions.

Cities Power Partnership

Camden Council recognises the need for action on climate change and is member to The Climate Council’s Cites Power Partnership, Australia’s largest network of local councils leading the way to a thriving, zero emissions future.


What does Council hope to gain from being a member of the Cities Power Partnership?

Given the growth that is expected to occur within the Camden local government area over coming years, there is a real opportunity for Council to ensure new developments are sustainable and efficient. As a society, we know we must change the way we do things to preserve our environment and build a secure and safe future. We are looking forward to working closely with other councils, and our community, to build and share our knowledge.


Camden Council has chosen the following pledges under the Cities Power Partnership:


Install renewable energy (solar PV and battery storage) on council buildings.


Roll out energy efficient lighting across the municipality.


Set city-level renewable energy or emissions reduction targets.


Power council operations by renewable energy, and set targets to increase the level of renewable power for council operations over time.


Provide fast-charging infrastructure throughout the city at key locations for electric vehicles.

Energy Saving Initiatives

Council actively manages energy consumption at its buildings and facilities, looking at the amount of electricity and gas used and how it is used. Energy saving opportunities identified are prioritised and implemented according to costs and payback period. 


LED Streetlighting Upgrade

Camden Council is responsible for ensuring the provision of streetlighting, and for the operating costs of streetlighting within the Camden Local Government Area (LGA). Council has worked with Endeavour Energy to undertake a project that has upgraded existing inefficient streetlights to energy efficient LEDs right across the Camden LGA.

The new energy efficient streetlights are designed to produce a similar light output to those that have been replaced while using less electricity. The project has seen more than 50% of the existing streetlighting network, or more than 7,000 streetlights switched to high performance and energy efficient LED streetlights.

The project will not only save Council and ratepayers millions of dollars on streetlighting operating and maintenance costs, but it will also help Camden achieve its goal of reducing energy use and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.  

The program commenced in July 2022 and was completed in December 2022.


What does the project involve?

More than 7,000 streetlights have been replaced with energy efficient and better-quality LED alternatives.

The lights provide the same level of lighting as existing streetlights but are much more energy efficient, saving money and helping us achieve our net zero emission goals.


Why upgrade to LEDs?

The LED lights have been approved for use by Endeavour Energy, the electricity network company that owns the lighting infrastructure and provides power to in the Camden Local Government Area.

The new lights will provide:

  • A more reliable lighting solution with more uniform levels of light;
  • Lower operational and maintenance costs, with savings of $6.7 million over 20 years; and
  • Environmental benefits saving 2,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, or 42,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over 20 years.

The lights have been tested to ensure they meet relevant Australian Standards for safety and light levels, and they perform better than the existing lights.


Why do this project now?

Council has been working on a range of projects to deliver improved sustainability and liveability for the community. This LED streetlight replacement program adds to the range of programs and projects being delivered to reduce our use of energy and work towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

LED lighting technology has advanced considerably and is a reliable and incredibly energy efficient alternative for public lighting compared with more traditional lighting such as Mercury Vapour or Metal Halide.


Who owns the lights?

Streetlighting is owned and maintained by Endeavour Energy - the local distribution network service provider. Council is responsible for the costs associated with operating the streetlighting within the Camden LGA.


How long do the lights last?

LED lights have a much longer lifespan than traditional lights. The LED luminaires (globe) will last around 20 years.


How is the project being funded?

The project was funded be Endeavour Energy, with Council responsible for payment of the remaining asset value of the lights that are being replaced. These costs are expected to be lower than the savings generated by the project in the first year.


How much energy is the project saving?

The project is saving significant amounts of energy, with energy use almost halved since the project was completed. This is the equivalent of more than 3,000 MWh of electricity over a year which is enough to power 529 homes for a year.

In addition to the energy savings, since January 2022 Council is also now purchasing 100% renewable energy to power our street lights which is delivering street lighting for the Camden local government area with zero emissions.

How can I get more information?

For more information contact the Sustainability Team on 02 4654 7777 or

Keep NSW Beautiful (KNSWB)

Keep Australia Beautiful NSW (KABNSW) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation facilitating litter reduction and environmental sustainability.

KABNSW works with communities to educate and motivate environmental initiatives through its programs including Sustainable CitiesAwards, Take the Pledge, KABNSW Litter Congress, Community Litter Grants and EnviroMentors.

Council has been an active participant of the Tidy Towns Program and member of KABNSW since 1987. Council has also participated in the Sustainable Cities Program and more recently in EnviroMentors, a sustainability education program delivered in local primary schools.

Keep Australia Beautiful NSW - Home | Facebook

Renewable Energy for Council

Council has taken another large step in cutting emissions and supporting renewable energy after signing a new Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) towards using 100 per cent renewable energy from January 2023.

The Power Purchasing Agreement will see Camden join Penrith, Wollongong, Wingebarribee, Queanbeyan-Pelerang, Albury and Bega Councils in a 10-year deal with Snowy Hydro through Red Energy, utilising the Metz Solar farm near Armidale in the New England region of New South Wales.

The deal will see renewable energy used in a staged approach. Initially this will include energy for all of our streetlighting as well as large Council sites in Camden, including:

  • Oran Park Administration Building
  • Oran Park Library;
  • Camden Library,
  • Narellan Library;
  • Council’s Narellan Depot;
  • Council’s Smeaton Grange Depot;
  • Mount Annan Leisure Centre; and,
  • Camden War Memorial Pool.

The Power Purchasing Agreement means approximately 90 per cent of Council's electricity usage will be sourced from renewables and will be a significant contributor to meeting Council's net zero emissions target by 2050. 

Solar Energy Generation Dashboard

Council is actively utilising solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to improve resource efficiency, reduce operating costs and support emissions reductions in operations. 

Council has installed solar photovoltaic systems at the following sites: 

  • Camden Council Administration Building, Oran Park
  • Camden Council Depot 
  • Julia Reserve Community Centre
  • Gregory Hills Community Centre 
  • Harrington Park Community Centre 
  • Catherine Park Community Centre
  • The Mount Annan Leisure Centre
  • Narellan Library
  • Camden Library
  • Narellan Child, Family and Community Centre

This means that these facilities are partly powered by the sun! With a combined capacity of 476.5 kW, these photovoltaic systems reduce both energy costs and emissions while advancing a more Sustainable Camden.

View the dashboard below to explore the energy generated across these assets, or view on the Camden Open Data Portal for more information. 

Sustainability Advantage

In acknowledgement of its significant environmental achievements Camden Council was recently recognised as a Silver Partner of Sustainability Advantage, a program of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE).

Sustainability Advantage helps organisations understand sustainability and strengthen their environmental performance. The program is a business support service from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and is open to all medium and large organisations and businesses in NSW.

Sustainable Choice

Sustainable Choice provides guidance and support to its member councils to help them work toward procuring products and services that have environmental, social, financial and cultural benefits. By making informed procurement decisions based on quadruple bottom line considerations, councils can reduce their impacts and risks now and for the future. In many cases, long term cost savings to council occur as a result.

Sustainable procurement is also an effective way for councils to meet other responsibilities, such as energy and water saving plans, greenhouse and waste reduction strategies and community service and environmental obligations.

Camden Council became a member of Sustainable Choice on 8 July 2008.

Sustainable Choice is administered by Local Government Procurement and is a subsidiary of Local Government NSW.

Sustainable Events

Council facilitates a number of community events throughout the year. In 2012, Council formalised its commitment to facilitate sustainable events in the adoption of a Sustainable Events Policy. The objective of this policy is to provide guidelines, advice and standards to ensure events are operated in an environmentally sustainable manner. The policy ensures sustainable considerations for venue selection, transport, equipment and supplies, promotion, waste and information and handouts.

Sustainability Strategy 2020-24: Resilient. Healthy. Connected.

Council has adopted a Sustainability Strategy to increase its focus on sustainability and work with the community to achieve positive outcomes for the local environment.