Environmental performance

The PM&C Environmental Policy Statement outlines the five principles of sustainable development: integration, precaution, intergeneration, biodiversity and valuation. These are identified in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. In 2016–17, the Department continued to minimise its impact on the environment by:

  • including environmental impacts in purchasing policies, where appropriate
  • complying with all relevant Australian Government, state and territory environmental legislation, regulations, policies and initiatives
  • using technology such as telepresence and desktop videoconferencing to facilitate meetings with interstate colleagues, where appropriate
  • encouraging and supporting staff to use environmentally friendly modes of transport
  • co-locating with other agencies in regional locations as leases expire or when opportunities arise
  • commencing the consolidation of Canberra office accommodation from three to two properties by applying alternative property management models such as flexible working and activity based working.

During 2016–17, the Department minimised its impacts on the environment in the areas of energy efficiency, waste and water use. Actions included:

  • maintaining a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rating of 4.5 stars for whole building energy, achieving a 5 star rating for base building energy and 3.5 stars for water use at premises at 1 National Circuit, Barton
  • maintaining a NABERS rating of 5.5 stars for tenancy and 5 star base building rating for building energy and water use at premises at Centraplaza, 16 Bowes Place, Woden
  • regularly monitoring levels of waste recycling
  • moving to a 'paper-light office' by promoting the use of electronic document management as well as digital and mobile technology solutions (iPads, laptops)
  • participating in Earth Hour in March each year at more than 100 PM&C sites
  • implementing the Environmental Management System, based on the Australian Standard AS/NZS ISO 14001, and conducting regular reviews of the system
  • defaulting office printers to black and white and two-sided printing
  • using energy savers for the majority of office equipment when not in use at Canberra office locations
  • purchasing up to 10 per cent of the energy from green power sources for tenant light for Canberra office locations.