OAK Flats Bowling & Recreation Club has been recognised for its efforts to promote and embrace sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, receiving a Highly Commended Award at ClubsNSW's Clubs and Community Awards earlier this month.
About a decade ago the club made the decision to try and move towards being carbon neutral and following that has implemented a number of other changes to reduce its environmental impact.
"It started about 10 years ago, but to begin with we weren't sure if we were going in the right direction and we were probably a bit clumsy about how we were going about it, but we then got on board with the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage's Sustainability Advantage program," Oak Flats Bowling & Recreation Club general manager Matt O'Hara said.
"We have to go through modules showing we're achieving our environmental outcomes as well as other things like engaging with the staff and our members and guests to promote sustainable measures, and we're the first and only club to receive a Gold Partnership."
The club also participates in the National Carbon Offset Standard program, in which it buys and retires carbon credits.
While the club is proud of being the first carbon-neutral club in the state, it's also focused on reducing its carbon footprint.
"Being carbon neutral was our first goal, but we really want to bring down our carbon footprint as well, our staff and members have been really supportive of that," Mr O'Hara said.
"We replaced our airconditioning system which has saved us something like 13 per cent on our electricity bill. We put a new curtaining on the building to shade it and reduce the heat load from the sun, we retro-fitted the entire lighting system, we've installed a synthetic green to reduce the water we use. We have 185,000 litres worth of rainwater harvesting we use for everything except cooking and drinking and we have our chicken run which allows us to keep all of our food waste out of landfill."