Why a sustainability strategy?
If everyone in the world lived like the average Australian we’d need nearly four planets worth of resources to sustain us.
Most people in Australia, and Greater Dandenong, enjoy a high standard of life with good health, longevity, education and opportunity. During the 21st century, the industrial revolution, and the associated development, enabled western society to increase our standard of living, but at the same time placed an increasingly unsustainable demand on the planet’s natural resources – i.e. the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe.
In 2014, the Living Planet Report, using the concept of ecological footprinting, highlighted that at the world’s current consumption rates we would need 1.5 planets to sustain our lifestyle. It should be acknowledged that an individual’s ecological footprint is very closely aligned to an individual’s standard of living. Therefore it is currently recognised that as an individual’s standard of living increases so too does their ecological footprint.
It is currently estimated that the average resident in Greater Dandenong needs the equivalent of 3.5 planets to sustain their lifestyle.
It’s clear that our planet cannot sustain our current resource consumption demands. As the global population grows, and more people strive for a higher standard of living, society puts the very environment that supports our economic prosperity and our wellbeing at risk. One of the greatest challenges associated with tackling these issues is finding a way for society to recognise the benefits associated with changing its current approach. While change is required to become more sustainable, it is not impossible, but we all have a role to play.
What are the benefits for Greater Dandenong?
There are many benefits from becoming more sustainable. For residents, the benefits can include being healthier, saving money, learning new skills, developing greater connections with their community and improving their quality of life.
For businesses, the benefits can include enhancing their brand, helping to increase productivity, lowering costs and helping to both retain and attract staff.
Unlike State and Federal Government, local government is considered to have a greater understanding of the needs of their local communities. While the community of Greater Dandenong has rich social and cultural diversity, there are also some recognised socio-economic challenges. These include having the lowest average income in metropolitan Melbourne and an extensive community with English as their second language. It is recognised that the community is particularly vulnerable to the impacts from climate change and other sustainability challenges.
Achieving this vision for a sustainable future is critical for the future of Greater Dandenong. Council has developed this Strategy so that it places people at the centre of its decision making processes.
The 2016 - 2030 Greater Dandenong Sustainability Strategy (the Strategy) is a key document for the City of Greater Dandenong that will be used to inform decisions, shape plans and undertake activities that help realise its vision for a sustainable future.
The Strategy establishes a high-level strategic framework that will help maximise the benefits of an integrated approach to sustainability. As a result, the framework provides the guidance required to enable the City of Dandenong to effectively enhance its sustainability credentials and become one of the most sustainable cities in Australia by 2030.
In Victoria, the Local Government Act (1989) requires councils to act in the long-term interest of its local community. This includes addressing the viability and sustainability of key economic, social and environmental issues. The Victorian Government also identities local government’s roles through other key legislation, such as the Planning and Environment Act (1987) and the Climate Change Act (2010).
The Strategy builds on the success of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2010, ‘A Healthier Environment, A Healthier Community’ – that links key environmental commitments with performance indicators through the Annual Sustainability Report (formerly called the ‘State of the Environment Report’).
Examples of significant recent projects where Council is demonstrating leadership on sustainability to the community and the sector can be found in the Case Studies section of this website.
Create an action plan to help achieve your personal sustainability goals.