Sustainability Outcomes

For a Sustainable Future

The department works with NSW and Commonwealth agencies, local councils, stakeholders and the community to encourage sustainable planning. Below are some of the ways we contribute to sustainable planning outcomes.

Our Sustainability Plan

The department has an important strategic and regulatory role to create a sustainable and prosperous future for NSW. We recognise that we can also contribute to a sustainable future through the way we conduct our affairs. Our Sustainability Plan has been prepared by the department to outline the ways in which we want our organisation to operate more sustainably.

Our Sustainability Plan - Summary PDF file

Strategic planning policies

The department has either produced or supported a series of strategic planning policies which will help guide the sustainable growth of our centres, communities and environment. We aim to offer the people of NSW a choice in the way they live and work, focusing on housing options, transport infrastructure, recreational facilities and business opportunities.

Saving water and energy with BASIX

BASIX is a web-based planning tool designed to assess the water and energy efficiency of new residential developments. It has been developed by the department in association with other government agencies, local government and utilities. On 1 July 2004, the NSW Government introduced BASIX into the development approval system to make sure our homes use less water and energy. 

To get a certificate, development applicants must complete an online assessment using the BASIX tool. Details are at

See a demonstration of BASIX.

Development assessment

The department's major projects assessment system ensures any key environmental and planning issues are publicly identified and addressed early in the assessment process.

Open space funding programs

The department supports a series of open space funding programs to encourage sustainable communities, through environmental improvements and active living.

Last Updated 20-May-2014