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
Good Fire Live: Cultural Burning workshop for landowners
Hosted by Zero Emissions Byron and thanks to an Ingrained Foundation grant, this day-long program on the Good Fire cultural burning project was attended by local landholders, academics, restoration professionals, council staff, and international conservation NGO representatives. It provided education on prescribed fire, and attendees learned about fire safety and how to conduct cultural burning.
Retrofitting for Energy Independence video released
A short film about retrofitting a home for energy independence and offers advice on improving a home’s thermal performance, which highlights the importance of rebuilding flood-damaged homes with resilient alternatives and provides resources for homeowners looking to make their homes more energy-efficient and resilient to flooding.
C02 Drawdown Stories: Good Fire released
Fire ecologist Dr. Andy Baker and Bundjalung cultural fire practitioner Oliver Costello explain how cool mosaic burning in open forest ecosystems can contribute to the global carbon cycle, with the regrowth after a fire drawing down CO2 equivalent to the smoke emissions created during the fire. See the video here.
First CO2 Drawdown episode released
The first of Zero Emissions Byron’s CO2 Drawdown Stories is released, focusing on the work of Claire Oelrichs, who has planted 50,000 trees since 1991, sequestering CO2 equivalent to the annual emissions of 250 cars. Her efforts have drawn down approximately 15,000 tonnes of CO2 over 27 years, inspiring others to take action for ecological restoration and carbon drawdown.
Northern Rivers EV Survey results released
Zero Emissions Byron surveyed residents and visitors of the Northern Rivers region of NSW to ascertain their knowledge of, interest in and concerns about Electric Vehicles. The key survey findings are summarised here.
Replant Byron Native Restoration Guide published
Wren McLean and Mark Dunphey cowrote the “Replant Byron Native Restoration Guide” for anyone planning to restore native vegetation in the Byron Shire, whether in a backyard or on acreage, with references to existing resources.
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.
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 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.