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Environment & Sustainability

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Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation is focused on reducing adverse urban impacts on the natural environment.

The changing climate, an increasing population, competing land uses and pollution are some of the environmental challenges confronting our community.

In response, we are developing and incubating solutions that ensure an equitable transition to a more sustainable future.

The Foundation is working towards achieving the following outcomes (click each one to learn more):

  • Outcome 1: Increased energy efficiency and climate resilience of vulnerable households.

    Our community is vulnerable to the changing climate and also a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Victoria’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are among the highest in the world - approximately four times the global average.
    While most temperature-related deaths in Australia can be attributed to cold weather, heat-related impacts on health are increasing; causing more deaths than all other natural disasters combined.
    People most at risk of these temperature-related effects, such as low-income households, are also under pressure from rising energy costs.  In all our Impact Areas, the Foundation has a particular commitment to supporting the most disadvantaged people in our community.
    The Foundation aims to increase the energy efficiency and climate resilience of vulnerable households to reduce the cost of living, reduce emissions and provide protection from temperature related health impacts.

    The Foundation’s support is focused on:

    • Initiatives that directly increase the energy efficiency and climate resilience of vulnerable households, such as subsidy or retrofit programs, including where they potentially intersect with our interest in increasing the supply of affordable housing.
    • Activities that demonstrably influence relevant local, state and commonwealth policies, regulations and codes.
    • Research to better understand energy poverty, temperature-related risks, residential greenhouse gas emissions and measures to reduce them.
    The Foundation will consider other activities that address this outcome.

    Learn more about this outcome »
  • Outcome 2: Increased public understanding of the climate challenge.

    Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation is increasing the community’s understanding of the climate challenge by providing regular, accessible, evidence-based information from trusted sources.
    A well-informed understanding of climate change and potential impacts enables individuals, communities, policy makers and other sectors to take practical action to support our transition to a low-carbon economy.

    The Foundation’s support is focused on:

    • Activities that effectively communicate the science and impacts of climate change .
    • Activities that communicate the solutions and highlight the mitigation and adaptation opportunities, particularly those that demonstrate how the transition to net-zero emissions is technologically and economically viable.
    • Projects that support the implementation of innovative local transition solutions that benefit the community.
    The Foundation will consider other activities that address this outcome.​

    It is expected that these activities engage large numbers of people or specific sectors that are critical to  effective mitigation or adaptation solutions.

    The Foundation is strongly outcome oriented and seeks evidence of results. There is strong preference for evidence-based approaches that can demonstrate effective engagement and, where possible, can show that the community is reducing emissions or adapting to the changing climate as a result of the communication activity.

    Learn more about this outcome »

  • Outcome 3: Secure, healthy and sustainable food systems.

    Increasing demand for agricultural products, urban sprawl, climate change and a range of other threatening processes are undermining the security, health and sustainability of our food system.

    Food production and consumption impacts biodiversity, aquatic and terrestrial resources, climate and a range of other critically important systems. 

    The food system can also produce less than ideal social outcomes, including limiting access to affordable, nutritious food.

    The Foundation funds research that identifies the challenges and maps out solutions to help secure the food systems upon which we depend.

    The Foundation’s support is focused on:

    • Research to better understand the issues threatening the security, health and sustainability of the food system.
    • Evidence-based solutions and pathways to a secure, healthy and sustainable food system.
    • Research and demonstration projects that influence or produce food system security, health and sustainability outcomes.
    • Demonstration of more sustainable, low-carbon urban agricultural approaches.
    The Foundation will consider other activities that address this outcome.​

    Learn more about this outcome »
  • Outcome 4: Protected and rehabilitated aquatic eco-systems.

    Aquatic eco-systems are impacted by a very wide range of threatening processes, including the changing climate, competing land uses, invasive species and pollution from various sources, including litter - especially plastic and microplastics. 

    We are improving our understanding of aquatic eco-system health, reducing adverse human impacts and restoring damaged eco-systems. 

    Reducing adverse urban impacts on our waterways and bays will help us meet the needs of a growing population as well as the environment - on which we and many other species depend. 

    The Foundation’s support is focused on:

    • Communication, citizen science and education activities that demonstrably reduce aquatic eco-system impacts.
    • Development of new technologies that reduce adverse urban impacts or support eco-system health.
    • Research that improves our understanding of aquatic eco-system health, threatening processes and management strategies.
    The Foundation will consider other activities that address this outcome.​

    Learn more about this outcome »


Does your organisation's work align with the outcomes of this Impact Area?

Learn about our Grants Program and speak to Dan Pediaditis, Program Manager - Environment & Sustainability.



Learn more about the issues affecting our community

Our Greater Melbourne Vital Signs Report provides a snapshot of the health, wellbeing and vitality of Greater Melbourne. The report identifies positive aspects of our community, as well as the issues we face, and informs the Foundation's strategy. 

Recent Grants

Seed Innovation Grants

Australian Academy of ScienceOcean and Coastal Futures: A Ten-Year Strategy 2020-2030.
This project will research requirements and content for The Ocean and Coastal Futures Ten-Year Strategy and will outline clear, actionable strategies for achieving healthy and resilient oceans and coasts for all of Australia.
Landcare Australia LimitedBuilding capacity to support productive and environmentally-sustainable farming in Melbourne’s food bowl.
The project will provide Landcare Australia staff with ‘Accounting for Nature’ training, focused on environmental monitoring and assessment of Natural Capital (water, soil, biodiversity, carbon, etc.) condition on farming properties. They will then research and develop simple, evidence-based Decision Guides for farmers to integrate sound management of soil, water and ecological conservation.
University of Technology SydneyHelp our marine life to stop eating microplastic 'Junk' food.
This project will clean-up marine microplastics by developing a mechanistic tool that concentrates microplastic particles into larger 'clumps' by exploiting their electrostatic quality. These clumps could then be easily removed with existing ocean-pollution clean-up technology.

Scaling-up Innovation Grants

Heytesbury District Landcare Network IncPositive impacts on Climate Change and Food Production from Increasing Soil Carbon.
A new tillage technology has recently been established that enhances soil carbon, with approval from the Clean Energy Regulator to claim carbon credits. This project will help farmers adopt these methods and a range of other related practices, and work with the Clean Energy Regulator to ensure financial incentives can be claimed.
The Trustee for The Nature Conservancy Australia TrustBringing Back Victoria’s Lost Oyster Reefs.

The project aim is to restore native oyster reef ecosystems to improve Port Phillip’s biodiversity, fisheries and water quality and recover a near lost ecosystem from extinction. The project includes plans to leverage funding for a further 19 hectares within three years.

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Key Stats


Victorians produce 4 x global average of greenhouse emissions.


16 of the last 21 growing seasons have had below-average rainfall.


Our hottest December & January on record were those in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Impact Stories

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