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Appendix F: Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

The following summary of the Commission’s environmental management activities and performance is provided in accordance with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which requires Australian Government organisations to include in their annual reports a report on the organisation’s contribution to ecologically sustainable development.

As stated in the Commission’s environmental policy statement, the Commission aims to minimise the use of non-renewable resources. The Commission’s environmental activities are directed towards improving energy management and environmental practices within the Commission. This includes continuing to use recycled paper products for most work activities, maximising the benefits from energy-saving devices and undertaking purchasing with energy efficiency in mind.

The Commission does not administer any legislation or have any appropriation directly related to sustainable development and environmental performance.

As part of the Commission’s environmental management system, the Commission has a number of environmental objectives and targets. The Commission achieved the targets in 2010–11. Table A4 indicates that the Commission maintained its performance against the established targets in 2011–12.

Table A4: Environmental performance, 2010–11 and 2011–12
Objective Target Result 2010–11 Result 2011–12

* This target was set in the Australian Government Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy (2006).

** Obtained a 5 on the ABGR rating scale in 2009.

Reduce the amount of virgin paper purchased By December 2009: 90% of paper purchased has 60% or better recycled content Maintained Maintained
Purchase environmentally sound stationery products By December 2009: reduction of 5% in the purchase of non-recycled paperBy December 2010: further reduction of 5% in the purchase of non-recycled paper All paper purchased has a 60% or better recycled content Maintained
Improve recycling practices to minimise the amount of general waste going to landfill Upgrade and standardise recycling practicesIncreased awareness through publicity, training of staff and championing of energy management Maintained in major tenancy Maintained in major tenancy
Maintain energy-efficient systems and minimise energy consumption 7,500 megajoules (MJ)/person/year*Minimum energy performance standard (4.5 on the ABGR rating)** 5,198 MJ/person/year in 2010 4,370 MJ/person/year

The Commission’s printing facilities, among other things use ‘follow-me’ printing, which minimises wasted or uncollected print-outs. During 2011–12 printers were configured as a default setting to double-sided black-and-white printing to minimise paper usage and toner costs. The Commission also made energy savings through improved technology and continued to:

  • use recycled paper and co-mingle recycling and paper waste recycling
  • purchase whitegoods and office equipment that had water- and energy-efficient features, including sleep modes
  • encourage the use of E10 fuel in Commission vehicles.

Due to the consolidation of office accommodation in May and June 2012, the Commission’s energy use should reduce during 2012–13.