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F: Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 requires Australian Government organisations to include in their annual reports a report on the organisation's contribution to ecologically sustainable development.

The Commission's environmental policy statement aims to minimise the Commission's use of non-renewable resources and direct its activities towards improving energy management and environmental practices. This includes continuing to use recycled paper products, 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.

The Commission's environmental management system includes a number of environmental objectives and targets. Table A4 indicates that the Commission maintained its performance against the established targets in 2013–14.

Table A4: Work health and safety performance indicators, 2012–13 and 2013–14
Objective Target Results 2012–13 Results 2013–14
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 paper. By December 2010: further reduction of 5% in the purchase of non-recycled paper Maintained Maintained
Improve recycling practices to minimise the amount of general waste going to landfill Upgrade and standardise recycling practices

Increased awareness through publicity, training of staff and championing of energy management
Maintained in major tenancy Maintained

The Commission's printing facilities, among other things, use ‘follow-me’ printing, which minimises wasted or uncollected print-outs. 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 has water- and energy-efficient features, including sleep modes.

The Commission has made progress in becoming ACTSmart accredited and should be accredited in 2014–15, enhancing its recycling and environmental outcomes.