Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost to join CitySwitch?

The program, including events and resources, is free for business thanks to the support of local Councils and other government bodies. Your net zero implementation plan may have upfront costs associated with it, such as engaging carbon accountants and purchasing more efficient equipment.

What do you mean by net zero?

CitySwitch aligns with the University of Oxford’s definition of net zero. This means CitySwitch signatories act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and then ensure hard-to-avoid emissions are balanced by offsets.

There is a difference between achieving net zero emissions and carbon neutrality. We emphasise carbon offsets should be purchased as a last resort only for emissions you can’t avoid.

We categorise emissions based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s ‘scoped’ approach. Businesses aiming for net zero should attempt to cover all 3 scopes. As a minmium, CitySwitch requires you baseline your Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

• Scope 1: Emissions that occur as a direct result of an activity at a facility or by equipment owned or controlled by your business. For example, emissions produced by onsite gas or company owned vehicles.

• Scope 2: Indirect emissions that occur in the process of generating the energy used by your business. For example, the electricity you buy.

• Scope 3: Indirect emissions that occur because of activities in your supply chain that you don’t own or control. For example, waste or air travel.

Does CitySwitch help my business to measure our carbon emissions?

We provide guides to help you understand and calculate your business’s baseline emissions.

We don’t provide a comprehensive carbon account. We recommend you use an accredited carbon accountant to adhere to the Greenhouse Gas Protocols.

A National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) energy tenancy rating will help you benchmark your office scope 1 and 2 emissions. As a CitySwitch signatory, you’ll receive a 50% lodgement fee discount.

Does my business or organisation need to set a net zero target?

As a minimum, we recommend you set a target to be net zero by 2050. However, the most important step is to create a plan outlining how you’ll reach net zero, and to cut your emissions as quickly as possible. According to the Climate Council, we need to cut the bulk of emissions this decade, if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.

What are the action items on the pathway?

The pathway is designed to be flexible, rather than prescriptive. The benefit is being able to see the steps along the way and plan for them. You may have already achieved some items, whereas others you might plan to action when the time is right for your business.

Small and medium, office-based businesses may be able to achieve net zero relatively simply. Others may have a much more complex transition and will require extensive external assistance. The pathway offers common elements for all business transitions and importantly begins with measuring your baseline and engaging your team.

From there, you might choose to take actions that address your scope 3 emissions. 

There are 7 pathway focus areas and 16 pathway actions.

Net Zero Pathway with seven focus areas and sixteen action items