Reducing government emissions

Responsible government includes minimising the impact of our activities on the environment. An important element of this involves reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with transportation, energy production and other industrial processes.

Carbon neutrality, also known as having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to the process of balancing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere with the amount removed.

As a government, we want to be carbon neutral by 2020—we have already reduced our emissions by 11% since 2012.

Chart showing ACT Government greenhouse gas emissions to date and projected to 2020

* kt CO2-e - kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (standard measurement for greenhouse gas emissions)

Why reduce emissions

Everyone benefits when government reduces the level of greenhouse gas emissions:

  • We become more resilient to the effects of climate change
  • The cost of government services is reduced
  • Our practices are more sustainable
  • We can become a national and international leader in being carbon neutral as a government

How we will reduce emissions

Two staff members get their e-bikes ready

We have identified three key actions that will help us become carbon neutral.

Measuring our emissions

We collect, analyse and report on government electricity, gas, and fleet fuel consumption using the Enterprise Sustainability Platform (ESP).

Reducing our emissions

We have reduced government emissions in a variety of ways, including:

  • using renewable energy sources
  • upgrading to LEDs and using motion activated lighting
  • converting gas heating to electric
  • encouraging staff to walk, cycle or take the bus when travelling to work meetings.

Carbon Neutral Government Fund

To encourage our agencies to develop projects that will help them reduce their emissions, we have created the Carbon Neutral Government Fund.

Learn more about the fund and the projects it supports.

Offsetting our residual emissions

Where it is impractical to completely eliminate emissions, we are committed to buying carbon credits to ensure we are carbon neutral.

Directorate targets


2018-19 Emissions Target

Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate


Health Directorate


Education Directorate


Justice and Community Safety Directorate


Chief Minister stream (CMTEDD)


Treasury stream (CMTEDD)


Vacant Premises (CMTEDD)


Community Services Directorate


Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate


Total Directorates


More information