Appendix D: Ecologically sustainable development

This appendix addresses the annual reporting requirements contained in s. 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Old Parliament House’s outcome, programs and projects contribute to ecologically sustainable development (ESD) both by conserving and maintaining unique heritage assets for future generations and by promoting awareness of the economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations that have shaped decision-making and development in Australia.

The heritage management framework, including the Heritage Management Plan and the Heritage Actions Committee, ensures that the principles of ESD are considered when decisions are made that may affect the heritage values and environment of the building and its surroundings.

An Environmental Policy was developed and introduced and an Operational Environmental Management Plan (OEMP) completed. This plan sets recommendations and a framework that will assist in improving efficiencies in all aspects of environmental management, by leading to the development of an Environmental Management System in 2012–13.

All building operations are effectively managed to gain maximum operational energy performance. As it manages and occupies a heritage-listed building, the organisation aims to achieve as closely as possible the Australian Government’s energy intensity targets set out in the 2006 Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy. A decrease in overall energy usage was achieved, with a 4.23 per cent fall in electricity usage (which is the majority of the organisation’s energy use) and a 1.93 per cent increase in gas consumption. All major refurbishments met the minimum energy performance standard set out in the policy.

Table 24 lists measures carried out in 2011–12 to minimise the impact of the agency’s activities on the environment.

Table 24 Environmental measures, 2011–12
Category Measures
Energy efficiency The Operational Environmental Management Plan was introduced.

To maximise energy efficiency, the following principles were applied:
  • where practical, purchasing equipment that has an Energy Star standard of 4 stars or better
  • using energy management options that enable office equipment to power down when not in use
  • not allowing energy-intensive or unapproved electrical items for personal use.
Other energy-saving measures included:
  • switching off non-essential lights at appropriate times
  • using curtains or blinds at appropriate times to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of air-conditioning and heating systems
  • replacing inefficient lighting with energy-efficient globes or LED lighting
  • continuing an upgrade of the emergency lighting system with LED fittings
  • reducing active times for motion-activated lighting by 50 per cent.
Water conservation A number of water saving measures were introduced:
  • watering frequency of gardens and grassed areas was reduced
  • inspection frequency of all taps and cisterns was increased
  • local government water restriction policies and plans were complied with
  • water conservation measures were scoped in all new works where possible, having regard to heritage responsibilities.
Paper use
  • print management software was used to reduce the amount of paper used
  • all print queues were cleared daily, and the default print setting was for double-sided prints.
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