A lot but not yet enough - a call for more action on sustainability

Grahame Collier, Rebecca Jones


The Urban Sustainability Support Alliance (USSA) was a large and multi-faceted NSW wide programme, which was delivered between late 2007 and late 2011, to support NSW Councils in integrating environmental sustainability into their policies, procedures, operations and programs. To support cultural change in 152 government instrumentalities, of different sizes, shapes and demographics, required innovation, connection and credibility. A diverse range of support and development mechanisms was required.
The USSA coined the tag line: Supporting Councils on their journey towards sustainability, and was evaluated in 2011. This paper charts the journey and reports on that evaluation. It describes the USSA program: provides judgments about the value of the programme against its intended outcomes; and identifies formative findings for the future so that the necessary support might continue.
The USSA was a highly successful program, with more than 85% of respondents from almost 80% of Councils in NSW indicating that the USSA had raised the profile of sustainability ‘a lot’/’a reasonable amount/some’. Of these, 48% indicated that the effect had been substantial. The evaluation report concluded that the USSA has provided ‘a lot, but not yet enough’ support to NSW Councils on the journey towards sustainability, and that there is still more to do.

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