Environmental management policy

The ALRC is committed to environmental best practice in office management and general operations. Through a process of continual improvement the ALRC will develop and maintain efficient and effective environmental office practices and will comply with relevant government policy and environmental legislation, including the Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan 2010-2015. The ALRC’s Executive Director is the EMS officer, whose role is to ensure ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement of environmental performance. The EMS officer is responsible for developing and implementing the EMS, including the review of the established objectives and targets.

The ALRC’s EMS commits the organisation to minimise its ecological footprint by:

  • incorporating environmental management considerations into core business and management practices including the organisation of the ALRC’s core program, conducting inquiries;
  • considering environmental impacts of all purchases made and ensuring that, wherever possible, options chosen include recyclable products, minimum packaging and minimum toxic chemicals;
  • creating a culture where sustainable environmental management is considered an integral element of all ALRC activities;
  • providing information to staff as to the recycling system and to maximising energy efficiency;
  • regularly monitoring environmental performance and providing reports to Government, as required; and
  • reviewing this Policy at least every two years to ensure it is relevant and delivering desired outcomes. The next revision is due in June 2014.

In minimising our environmental impact, the ALRC will consider the following:

  • options for travel during the consultation process, using telephone conferencing when appropriate instead of air travel, using public transport when appropriate, and sharing vehicles as far as possible;
  • filing electronically, rather than in hard copy, to reduce the amount of paper used as part of our commitment to digital records management;
  • reducing the amount of print copies of documents produced and publishing consultation papers only online;
  • printing double-sided for internal documents, whenever possible;
  • using office paper that is carbon neutral, recycled and/or has an environmental sustainability rating;
  • ensuring publications printed externally use paper that is FSC and certified by PEFC;
  • encouraging the use of e-payments to reduce reliance on paper products;
  • developing an option for submitting to ALRC inquiries online that will reduce paper usage and photocopying;
  • purchasing ‘fair trade’ consumables, if available;
  • ensuring non-essential office lighting is switched off overnight and on weekends;
  • ensuring printers, fax machines and computers are turned off on weekends and holidays;
  • encouraging all staff to use the building recycling system for green waste and for mixed recyclables;
  • asking ALRC Commissioners and staff who are eligible for a vehicle as part of their remuneration to treat fuel efficiency and carbon emissions as significant factors when choosing a vehicle;
  • encouraging staff to use window blinds to regulate the temperature of their offices, particularly during summer months; and
  • considering the amount of packaging when purchasing office supplies; and
  • tracking our energy consumption to provide a comparative measurements and track our performance.