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Environmental Sustainability Strategy

The City of Parramatta is going through great change and transformation. As Sydney’s Central City, a strong focus on environmental sustainability will prepare our City for the opportunities and challenges that unprecedented growth brings.

As the City grows we need to ensure that the natural environment improves creating a better quality of life, not just for people, but for all living things - we believe a great city is one that grows better every day.

It’s a place where parks and green spaces, transport, swimming places and the skyline all grow together. A great city is also one where everyone shares in the City’s success. To ensure this happens, we need a strong framework.

The City of Parramatta Environmental Sustainability Strategy outlines our key environmental directions and priorities as our City grows, so that all of us – residents, workers and visitors – feel the benefits of our growing City, while meeting our bigger goal of Building Australia’s Next Great City.


2020 City of Parramatta Sustainability Awards –Environmental Citizen of the Year

Our Environmental Citizen of the Year Award recognises and celebrates the hard work of individuals and groups who are committed to improving our environment.

It recognises the effort that these champions have put into reducing their own impact on the environment or in helping others to do the same. 

If you or someone you know is passionate about sustainability issues and is actively doing something about it, why not nominate them for our Environmental Citizen of the Year 2020 awards. Whether their passion is saving energy, growing their own food, avoiding waste, protecting local environments, recycling, or sharing knowledge with others – don’t let their efforts go unnoticed. 

EXTENSION - Awards nominations close 5pm Monday 7th December 2020.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions we will postpone the award ceremony, however the winners will be announced in 2020.

To be eligible nominees must:

Be a City of Parramatta resident, or work in, or volunteer, in the City of Parramatta.
Be available to meet with our judging panel (either in person or virtually) -  dates to be confirmed.
Be available to attend the Awards Ceremony - dates to be confirmed.
Be willing to tell their story to others.


Nomination Form

Terms and Conditions

How do we define environmental sustainability?

Our environment defines how we live and what we do. It’s the spaces we play in, and the place we build. It’s how we get around, and the community around us. Its where we work and where we call home.

Environmental sustainability is maintaining all the things we love about where we live, work and play. It’s about preserving everything that make our City great, even as it grows. It is the landscape on which we seek to grow Australia’s next great city, by bringing together nature, transport and a better built environment for the benefit of all.

What has our community told us?

Our community wants:

  • More parks, green space and trees, healthy waterways, bushland and biodiversity to relax, escape and enjoy for passive and active recreation.
  • A holistic approach to development that sees environment, the economy and other social infrastructure improved at the same time.
  • An eco-efficient, smart city where buildings can use less energy and water and recycle more waste efficiently as the City grows.
  • Transport options – improved public transport, cycleways, walking routes and less road traffic.

Strategy themes

A City in Nature - is about protecting and enhancing our parks and green spaces, bushland and biodiversity and waterways, while also providing more trees. We want nature to be a feature of our local government area; something that everyone notices and enjoys.

Built for the Future – is about sustainable design that uses less – water, energy and materials – to do more. It’s about improving efficiencies in both existing buildings, new buildings and key development precincts and ensuring that our lives become more liveable while at the same time reducing our impact on the natural environment.

Connected and Resilient Communities – is about protecting and improving the liveability of our community in extreme weather events such as heatwaves and flooding to help minimise the impact from disaster. It is also about connecting the community through active and public transport, bringing more life to our streets, public spaces and natural areas for recreating.

Leading by Example – is about Councils responsibility to lead the way as Sydney’s Central City in environmental sustainability performance. By showing how it’s done, we can inspire best practice amongst our local businesses and our residents.

The strategy seeks to deliver 20 long term goals through a series of actions over four yearly cycles and will be reviewed and updated including revised actions to align with the City’s budget cycles and Council terms.

Strategy goals

A City in Nature



Parks & Green Space

  • Protect, enhance and increase our parks and green spaces to make them a community feature

Bushland & Biodiversity

  • Protect and enhance the health of our unique natural ecosystem of plants and animals

The Urban Forest

  • Increase canopy cover to 40% by 2050 (based on 2016 levels)

River and Waterways

  • Make the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025

Built for the future



Energy and Carbon

  • 60% Emissions reduction by 2038 (based on 2015 levels)
  • 50% of electricity demand to be met by renewable energy by 2038

Water Use

  • No net increase in potable water consumption by 2038 (based on 2015 levels)

Waste and Litter

  • Reduce resource consumption from 8.2 kg to 6.1 kg per person by 2038 (based on 2015 levels)
  • Increase diversion from landfill to 85% by 2038
  • Reduce the volume of litter by 40% by 2020

Connected and Resilient Communities



Sustainable Transport

  • 10% of trips made by walking and cycling by 2038

Urban Heat

  • Improve liveability by cooling the City and protecting people and communities from heat stress


  • Minimise the impact of flooding on the community

Leading by Example



Council Energy, Water and Waste

  • Carbon neutral by 2022
  • 60% Emissions reduction by 2038 (based on 2015 levels)
  • No net increase in potable water consumption by 2038 (based on 2015 levels)
  • 90% Diversion rate for council waste by 2038

Council Fleet and Staff Travel

  • Reduce council fleet emissions by 20% by 2038 (based on 2015 levels)
  • Reduce single-occupancy car commutes to and from work by council staff to 35% by 2023 (based on 2016 levels)

Responsible Investment and Procurement

  • Sustainability criteria are considered in all of Council’s procurement activities

For more information, email us at environmentallysustainable@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au or contact Mark Matthews in the Environmental Outcomes Team on (02) 9806 5109.