Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) was initiated in March 2015, at a public meeting with the CEO of Melbourne Think Tank, Beyond Zero Emissions, and the Byron Shire Mayor, and community members. ZEB was developed as a collaboration between the Byron Shire Community, the Byron Shire Council, Beyond Zero Emissions and the Centre for Social Change.
In the first two years, the focus was on developing the internal structure and capacity; relationships with key stakeholders; the emissions inventory for the Byron Shire region; the regional strategy for emissions mitigation; and initial projects.
Key steps in the evolution of ZEB
Zero Emissions Byron History
Replant Byron Alliance is born out Replant Byron initiative
ZEB’s Replant Byron Alliance blossoms out of the original Replant Byron initiative, offering a “match-making” service to landowners, connecting people wanting to reforest their acres, and/or learn about regenerative agriculture, with recognised professional nurseries and professional regenerators.
Community Forest at The Farm
ZEB establishes Byron’s first Community Forest at popular tourist destination The Farm, becoming Replant Byron Alliance’s most visible and accessible planting. $30,000 was raised towards purchasing, planting and maintaining the trees, supported by donations and grants.
The EV Revolution Series commences
ZEB initiates a series of eight monthly, one-hour webinars on ‘The EV Revolution’. The webinars feature leading industry experts, and youtube recordings prove popular, reaching an international audience.
ZEB engages Point Advisory to monitor shire emissions
To monitor the Shire’s Energy Emissions, ZEB engages Point Advisory, to produce data.
ZEB joins Sustain Northern Rivers Energy Working Group
ZEB is represented on Sustain Northern Rivers Energy Working Group.
Buildings team creates poster to highlight low carbon house design
The ZEB Buildings team works with architects to devise a poster to highlight low carbon house designs, offered to people planning new houses.
ZEB engages Community Engagement Officer, Sasha Mainsbridge
ZEB engages Sasha Mainsbridge, as Community Engagement Officer to actively promote community engagement.
The Communications team produces a leaflet CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE, widely distributed at street stalls and community events, and via the website.
Replant Byron commences
The first of many tree planting projects happens on a private Ewingsdale property as part of RePlant Byron, a ZEB project which plants 18,000 trees to drawdown carbon. ZEB joins the Climate Marches calling for action.
The first Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Expo and Forum
ZEB stages the first Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Expo and Forum, to showcase the latest trends in EV’s. Six hours of presentations with key industry leaders. ZEB participates in the launch of two EV charging stations: NRMA’s chargers at The Farm, and the EV chargers at Council’s carpark.
A Climate Emergency
Byron Shire Council declares a Climate Emergency. ZEB engages in a wide variety of local community actions and is represented on Byron Council’s Sustainability and Emissions Reduction Advisory Committee, SERAC.
ZEB’s regular newsletter and Facebook pages highlight ZEB activities and inspire community action on reducing emissions.
The Big U-Turn Ahead
ZEB holds and films a “wake-up” presentation at Byron Theatre with the Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen called THE BIG U-TURN AHEAD. The film is widely distributed to Councils around Australia and other groups
Zero Emissions Byron attains DGR status
ZEB attains DGR status, enabling ZEB to offer tax deductibility to donors
Byron Shire Council endorses Zero Emissions targets
Byron Shire Council formally endorsed the target of Zero Emissions.
Baseline Emissions Report completed
Baseline Emissions Report completed, quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from each sector. Stakeholder forums held across each sector to develop emissions mitigation strategies and document emissions abatement projects.
First public Zero Emissions Byron meeting
Public meeting held with Stephen Bygrave – CEO of Melbourne Think Tank, Beyond Zero Emissions, Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson, and Amanda Cahill, director of the Centre for Social Change, ZEB is the first of 100+ Zero Communities now established across Australia.
Five volunteer teams were formed across the sectors Energy, Buildings, Transport, Land Use and Waste.