The purpose of this fund is to encourage community, school, social enterprise or business projects that help meet our climate change objectives and targets.

The Sustainability Fund for the 2024/25 financial year will:

Open: Monday 29 July 2024

Close: Friday 30 August 2024 at midday.

The application form will be available here from 29 July 2024.

The Sustainability Fund supports projects that address the following climate change objectives and targets:

Our objectives

  • We will meet the challenge of climate change through every means available.
  • We understand and are prepared for the ongoing impacts of climate change.
  • We all benefit from a just transition to an innovative, low-emission economy.
  • We are guardians of our natural environment and taonga.

Our targets

Our emission reduction targets, from a 2016/17 baseline are:

  • Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (excluding methane) for Christchurch by 2045, and a 50% reduction by 2030.
  • At least a 50% reduction by 2045 of methane emissions in Christchurch, and a 25% reduction by 2030.
  • For Christchurch City Council activities to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Christchurch’s main sources of greenhouse gas emissions are from transport (55%), energy used in buildings and infrastructure (18%), farming (15%), solid waste and sewage treatment (8%) and industrial gases (4%). 

View previously funded projects.

What you can apply for

The Council welcomes innovative proposals that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Christchurch or proposals that grow our resilience to the impacts of climate change, such as projects that:

  • Help our community adopt more sustainable behaviours and practices.
  • Support our rapid transition to an innovative, low emission economy.
  • Increase the uptake of zero-emission mobility such as walking and cycling.
  • Reduce consumption, eliminate waste or support a circular economy.
  • Encourage the efficient use of resources such as energy, water, waste and materials.
  • Increase the uptake of renewable energy.
  • Support a regenerative food system and farming practices.
  • Enhance ecosystem resilience and nature-based, green infrastructure solutions.
  • Remove greenhouse gases directly from our atmospheres, such as forest or wetland restoration and soil carbon improvements.
  • Help us to better understand, prepare for, or respond to the environmental, social, cultural or economic impacts of climate change.

View previously funded projects.

Who can apply

  • Community organisations, schools, social enterprises and businesses can apply to this fund.
  • Applicants must be a legal entity registered in New Zealand, such as an incorporated society, charitable trust or limited liability company.
  • Preference will be given to Christchurch-based organisations or partnerships involving Christchurch organisations.
  • Individuals seeking funds will need to partner with a legal entity and include in the application a letter from the host entity endorsing the proposed project and partnership arrangement.
  • Generally, applications led by government organisations will not be considered. However, partnerships involving government organisations are acceptable.
  • Only one application per project will be accepted in each Council financial year (July to June). Organisations may put forward more than one project in a year.
  • Applicants should have made reasonable efforts to secure funding from other sources before applying to this fund.

When to apply

The Sustainability Fund will open on 29 July 2024 and close on 30 August 2024.

The Council will make its funding decision in November 2024.

How proposals are evaluated

Proposals will be assessed against the following evaluation criteria.

Applications should provide specific and detailed information about how the project will address each criteria and a budget clearly showing how funds will be used. 

Evaluation criteria Key questions to consider in your application to this fund
Alignment with the Council’s climate change objectives
How will the project advance on the Council’s climate change objectives and targets? How will the project reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Christchurch or strengthen resilience to climate change? What is the issue or opportunity being addressed?
The nature and scale of public good being delivered
What is the nature and scale of the benefits to be delivered by the project?  Who will benefit from this project, in what ways and by how much? Is the project supporting public good (not private gain)? What will be the estimated reduction of energy, water, waste or greenhouse gas emissions? What level of community engagement is anticipated? How will things improve for Christchurch?
Ability to deliver ongoing benefit
How will the project continue to deliver its benefits beyond the funding period? Does the project have enduring benefits or how can the project be self-sustaining? What will be the lasting legacy of the project?
The project is ready and able to be delivered
Do you have the skills, experience, resources or support needed to successfully deliver the project and achieve its benefits? Is the project ready and able to proceed within four months of receiving funds? Can the project be completed within twelve months or by clearly defined and achievable milestones?
Has clear measures of success
How will you measure and report project success and share learning? What are the key metrics or indicators that will measure your impact (quantity or quality)? For example, the amount of energy, water, waste, and greenhouse gas emissions reduced; the number or perspectives of people benefiting; media exposure; photographs of improvements made; stories or information captured and shared with others. What will be the measurable, tangible outcomes achieved by the project?

Applications will be considered by the Council in November 2024.

What funding is available

The Council has allocated a total of $380,000 for this Fund in the 2024/2025 financial year.

Generally, the fund will provide no more than 60% of the project costs with the remainder to come from other sources. These can include in-kind contributions, such as time or resources supplied to the project by others.

Funded projects should be ready to start within four months and be completed within twelve months. Multi-year applications can be considered provided the business case is compelling and the project plan has clear milestones and points for progress payments.

Funds can be requested for operational aspects (e.g. staff time) and for materials or equipment needed to successfully deliver the project benefits. Applications seeking to purchase equipment will need to have quotes and proof of purchase.

Organisations that are GST registered should be aware that this grant is an unconditional gift and does not attract GST. All amounts are effectively exclusive of GST, GST will not be paid.

Other funds to consider before applying

Applicants are encouraged to approach other funds that may be more suited to specific proposals:

What this fund does not cover

The following will not generally be funded:

  • projects solely undertaking investigations such as scoping, research or feasibility.
  • activities whose primary purpose is the private gain or advancing private business interests without a public good component.
  • retrospective costs incurred or settled before the agreed commencement date of the funding agreement.
  • debt servicing or re-financing costs.
  • stock or capital market investment.
  • gambling or prize money.
  • payment of any legal expenditure, including costs or expenditures related to mediation disputes or ACC, Employment Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, Professional or Disciplinary Body hearings.
  • payment of fines, court costs, mediation costs, IRD penalties or retrospective tax payments.
  • purchase of land and buildings.
  • purchase of vehicles and any related ongoing maintenance, repair, overhead costs or road user charges.
  • activities or initiatives where the primary purpose is to promote the religious ministry, political objectives, commercial or profit-oriented interests.
  • medical or healthcare costs, including treatment and insurance fees.
  • fundraising.
  • money that will be redistributed as grant funding, sponsorship, donations, bequests, aid funding or aid to other recipients.
  • air travel, accommodation, hotel/motel expenses.
  • conference fees and costs.
  • projects that have received other Council funding in the same financial year. 
  • projects that are considered to be the primary responsibility of the local or central government or another funding body.

Grant funding agreement and reporting

Before funding is allocated to successful projects, applicants will be required to sign Council’s Sustainability Fund Grant Funding Agreement [PDF, 927 KB].

Depending on the specific project, changes may be needed to this agreement at the sole discretion of Council.


If you receive a grant from Christchurch City Council, you are required to provide reporting. This is a condition of the Community grants terms and conditions [PDF, 30 KB](external link) that you agree to before receiving a grant.

You are required to spend the grant as per the resolution on the funding agreement. Any variation to this, not previously agreed to by Council, will mean you will have to return the money.

The same applies if you have finished your project and have not spent all of the grants, you will be required to return the unspent money.

Future funding can be withheld if reporting requirements are not met.

End-of-project report

Online form for end-of-project reporting: End-of-project report (external link)– reporting is due when funding is spent or 13 months after the money was granted.