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  • Success Story
  • Bundaberg Regional Council

How Bundaberg Regional Council Used Technology to Reduce Its Carbon Footprint

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The Bundaberg Region is a local government area in the Queensland area, about 220 miles north of Brisbane. It’s ECO Destination Certified and puts projects, such as One Million Trees, into place to improve sustainable management practices for the region. One of the goals of the One Million Trees project is to help reduce the council’s carbon footprint and achieve a net zero carbon target.

The council sought a more streamlined, less paper-based process for the project and implemented Granicus’ digital engagement platform to bring One Million Trees to the community. As a result of the project’s success, the Bundaberg Regional Council was granted the 2022 Granicus Digital Government “Data for Good” Award.

“The only way we can truly achieve [success in] this project is with community engagement and support and that comes through having the capacity to engage anytime through the website. It means the accessibility is there."
Carmen Bracken, One Million Trees Project Officer, Bundaberg Regional Council


  • 22% increase in pageviews in just three months
  • Ranked top two Project pages consistently rank high every month
  • 10,700 visitors to the project
  • 2,200 informed participants in the project
Must have Granicus Solutions

Enhancing communication through digital tools

The Bundaberg Regional Council launched an ambitious programme in 2020 to plant one million trees. Tree planting projects in the past were largely paper-based and Bundaberg wanted to automate the project as much as possible to make it more environmentally friendly, sustainable, and accessible to everyone in the community. The council also needed a platform to inform residents about the programme and enhance internal and external collaboration.

The council sought a user-friendly digital solution to make it easy to engage with the public and consistently demonstrate its commitment to improving the environment. By bringing Granicus’ EngagementHQ platform into the fold, the Bundaberg Regional Council streamlined the One Million Trees project.


Digital solutions to modernise projects and improve engagement

Moving the One Million Trees initiative from paper-based to an online platform started with a project page. Rather than distributing paper vouchers to residents, the council collected information through a simple online form. Data collected included the species and number of trees planted, where they were planted, and spatial location information. Newly planted trees were then noted on a regularly updated online map which shows the total number of trees planted since the programme started.

Using the digital engagement platform and other applications helps the council collect information from landowners without having residents share personal data. Council leaders then share this information with other departments, such as parks and recreation, to help all parties see a clear picture of how the programme is working in the community. Reports and spreadsheets can be accessed quickly, and analysis can be shared publicly on the dashboard.


Broadened awareness and collaboration to realise goals

The Bundaberg Regional Council’s One Million Trees project is an ambitious one, but it is already producing impressive results. Since the programme’s inception in 2020, the One Million Trees page has received nearly 11,000 visitors. The project’s pages are consistently among the top two every month and pageviews increased 22% in three months, demonstrating the public’s growing awareness and interest in the One Million Trees project.

Additionally, the council has reaped unexpected benefits of using the Granicus platform. Improved vegetation management data can be used to target ideal locations for planting to achieve the best environmental and economical outcomes and avoid bushfires and other emergencies. Bundaberg has also seen increased collaboration across many departments to make the One Million Trees project a reality. The team’s openness to working together on this complex project was a major part of its success and integral to their ability to engage with the community.

“My biggest learning [in this project using EngagementHQ] has been the collaboration. I shed a tear when the map went up; it just shows people working together can really make things work.”
Trish Mears, Community Engagement Advisor, Bundaberg Regional Council