Bass Coast Shire Council is acutely aware of its responsibility to preserve and enhance its natural environment and to ensure its sustainability.
The Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035 identified that the environment is the economy of Phillip Island and San Remo. Game Changer 1 of the strategy is to work towards gaining international certification as a sustainable destination under GSTC.
In 2017 Council embarked on the process of becoming accredited using the Earth Check platform to achieve certification.
The accreditation process involves carefully tracking Council’s performance against 20 indicators which demonstrate the regions commitment to sustainability and improving environmental and social outcomes. Benchmarking provides Bass Coast Shire Council with a vehicle for sustainability reporting and is based on the premise of continual improvement. The areas identified for improvement include:
In 2019 Council was successful in achieving Bronze Benchmarking. It has created partnerships with key stakeholder groups to progress to full accreditation. Phillip Island Nature Parks, Westernport Water, Phillip Island Conservation Society, Bass Coast Landcare and Totally Renewable Phillip Island are all equally committed to Bass Coast Shire Council achieving full certification.
The Newhaven and Cowes Visitor Information Centres have been updating their practices to help Council achieve the environmental standards required by the GSTC.