The Nature Conservation Council of NSW (NCC) developed the Challenge in 2006 to inspire household and community action, facilitate ongoing behaviour change and promote more sustainable communities. The Challenge is a highly flexible vehicle connecting people to climate change solutions and local programs, builds new partnerships and sparks a dedicated local media following. It effectively reduces household and collective greenhouse emissions and instills a strong sense of local pride and community building around climate solutions.
The Challenge has been successfully delivered to six regions in NSW and one municipality in Victoria.
- ClarenceValleyin 2007
- CentralCoastin 2007
- Mosman in 2008
- North Sydney Council in 2009
- Warringah Council in 2009
- Frankston (VIC) City Council in 2010
- ParramattaCity Council in 2010
The Climate Challenge is a tried and tested environmental education model, enthusiastically received by each and every community, delivers positive environmental outcomes and builds community strategies for a low carbon lifestyle.
The NCC in partnership with a Council, business or environmental organisation delivers the Challenge to its community.
The Challenge provides tangible ways for communities to individually and collectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and develop creative initiatives to highlight the solutions to climate change.
Community members firstly, register to ‘take the Challenge’ and secondly, complete a series of actions to reduce their carbon footprint.
Upon registration participants receive a Challenge Participant Pack, which comprises of a Challenge Passbook, 35 sticker stars and details on local environmental initiatives where appropriate.
The Passbook is the central tool of the Challenge. It is essentially a guidebook providing actions and hints that participants can complete in their homes and community to reduce their carbon footprint. Participants can complete whatever actions are best suited to their lifestyle to reduce their carbon footprint.
Each action is worth a certain number of stars. Once an action is completed then the participant is awarded that number of stars. By completing actions to the value of 35 stars, at the final event, the Awards Night, the participant becomes a Climate Champion and enters the major prize draw.
Beyond completing actions in the Passbook, Challenge participants are also engaged through a series of events:
- TheLaunch event- the Challenge is introduced and promoted to the community through a family friendly environmental fair
- The Midway Workshop is an opportunity for participants to come together, share their progress on the Challenge and hear from local energy expert speaker on changes they can make in the home and the community. The Midway Workshop also provides the opportunity for the community to discuss and develop initiatives to reduce their collective carbon footprint. Examples of previous community initiatives include transition towns, climate action groups and neighbourhood initiatives such as HUGS (‘Herbs you Grow to Share’) and communal composting for an apartment block.
- The Awards Night- is a celebration of the achievements of the local community at the culmination of the Challenge.
This combination of an interactive resource package, a series of local events and individual participant support successfully encourages energy efficiency improvement and facilitates behaviour change towards sustainability. Furthermore, in bringing people together and sharing successes, the Challenge inspires communities to work together to create ongoing change.
To achieve the Challenge participants:
- Reduce their household carbon footprint,
- Engage in the community by undertaking initiatives to make a collective difference and
- Have completed environmental actions to the value of 35 stars to be named a Climate Champion
The Climate Challenge has consistently seen a reduction in the carbon footprint of its participants whilst strengthening its communities. It is a tried and tested environmental education program that has assisted in the adoption of a low carbon lifestyle over seven regions.
The Challenge provides simple practical actions that busy people can do to live in a more efficient and sustainable manner. Moreover it builds communities and generates sustainable change by facilitating community actions.
According to the ABS Environmental Views and Behaviour 2007-2008, most Australians are concerned about the state of the environment. The Community Climate Challenge provides the means for people to address their concerns by becoming proactive at a household and community level.
Find out more!
If you would like further information on the Community Climate Challenge program or are interesting in partnering with the NCC, contact us today!
Or e-mail us at
Sustainability Program Officer