Sustainability Action Plan

Sustainability Action Plan

Management and communications

•    Management
1.    Review existing decision-making procedures and amend to ensure environmental assessment is reflected.
2.    Establish an environment committee to include (at minimum) senior management representative, office / facilities manager, operations, purchasing, OH&S representatives.
3.    Identify and establish staff ‘champions’ to assist with suggestions and actions.
4.    Develop environment committee scope of activities, responsibilities and timetable for monthly meetings.
5.    Ensure that environmental sustainability issues (eg. greenhouse gas emissions and climate change) are considered in reviews of the corporate or strategic plans.
6.    Implement a staff behaviour change program focused on reducing energy, waste & water consumption
7.    Implement a sustainable purchasing awareness campaign.

•    Communication
1.    Ensure that website is regularly updated with sustainability initiatives and achievements.
2.    Improve education and awareness of contractors regarding the use of environmentally preferable products and waste disposal procedures.
3.    Promote sustainable practices and initiatives at internal events
4.    Introduce a reward and recognition program for sustainability
5.    Prepare case studies of successful initiatives and publish on website.

•    Community engagement
1.    Develop opportunities to partner with local communities on sustainability projects.
2.    Ensure institutional representation in local community environment groups / networks.
3.    Work with local councils and community groups to include environmental considerations in community plans.

Education for Sustainability (EfS)

•    Staff education and training
1.    Run workshops for all staff to inform them of your division’s action plan, objectives, targets and timeline of activities.
2.    Develop a sustainability induction program for all new staff and contractors.
3.    Develop and implement a sustainability training program for staff to include coverage of climate change, greenhouse gas issues, energy efficiency, waste minimisation, sustainable purchasing and water conservation.
4.    Build awareness of sustainability issues through professional development opportunities for staff.
5.    Encourage staff uptake of internal (e.g. Staff Environment Advocates group) and external Sustainability networking opportunities.
6.    Ensure that increasing public awareness of EfS is addressed
7.    Provide economic incentives to support / implement EfS

Purchasing choices

•    Internal policies and procedures
1.    Establish an sustainable purchasing committee
2.    Gain management commitment to increase the purchase of 100%- recycled-content office paper, toilet paper and hand towels.
3.    Gain management commitment to increase the purchase of fair trade, organic tea and coffee and locally produced food
4.    Gain management commitment to reduce office paper purchase and consumption.
5.    Liaise with other areas that have implemented such policies to identify their barriers and keys to success.
6.    Develop or review a purchasing strategy / policy (buy recycled policy) to include consideration of environmentally preferable products (consider life cycle assessments if available)
7.     Minimise packaging waste travel miles
8.     Incorporate ‘take back’ schemes into supply contracts
9.    Develop standard environmental clauses for incorporation into contracting processes.
10.    Ensure that environmentally sustainable development (ESD) considerations are incorporated into purchasing specifications for IT equipment.
11.    Select highest energy and water efficiency standards when purchasing new whitegoods, IT peripherals and other appliances

•    Engagement with suppliers
1.    Review supplier agreements to determine potential for switching to products with higher recycled content levels and service providers with a strong environmental focus and track record.
2.    Ensure that environmental specifications are incorporated into key services contracts, including cleaning, waste removal and fleet management.


•    Lighting
1.    Run energy awareness campaigns, such as ‘Switch Off’.
2.    Undertake lighting audits to identify energy-efficient lighting opportunities.
3.    Replace lighting with more efficient technology (fittings and lamps) where appropriate.
4.    Utilise a lux meter to identify opportunities for de-lamping (consistent with Australian Standards) and liaise with maintenance staff to implement.
5.    Install motion and light sensors or automatic switch-off systems.

•      IT and Office equipment
1.    Install an automated computer system switch-off.
2.    Install timers on all relevant equipment (eg. printers, copiers, kitchen boiling water units) to ensure that they operate during business hours only.
3.    Ensure that energy efficiency settings are maximised on all office equipment (i.e. computers, monitors, printers, photocopiers, etc.).
4.    Remove active screensavers and set monitors to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity.
5.    Conduct a printer rationalisation review with a view to maximising the efficiency of internal printing and copying services. (This should include multifunction devices.)
6.    Install 7-day time switches for hot water and other appropriate appliances to turn off outside of operating hours.
7.    Adopt shut-down procedures for outside operational hours.
8.    Use power meter to monitor the energy consumption of key office equipment (Fridge, coffee machine photocopier/multifunction device computer, shredder). Evaluate and communicate the outcomes of activities, including ‘turn-off’ policy or equipment replacement program.


•       Reduce
1.    Develop and implement a printing policy, including setting all machines to duplex, rationalising printers / copiers, phasing out non-duplex machines, promote ‘think before you print’ and producing printing guidelines.
2.    Require suppliers to use returnable / reusable cartons and reduce or eliminate disposable/non-recyclable packaging.
3.    Require caterers and food service tenants to use reusable / recyclable packaging.
4.    Become a ‘plastic bag-free’ zone.

•      Reuse
1.    Trial recycled printer cartridges to determine quality and suitability for existing equipment.
2.    Donate to staff, students or charities, old computer / electrical equipment, furniture and fittings that are still in good condition.
3.    Institute a policy that only rechargeable batteries are to be purchased and used.
4.    Encourage staff to use reusable water bottles and / or reusable mugs and Keep Cups.
5.    Reuse incoming cartons for outgoing goods or for storage internally.

•        Recycle
1.    Recycle or ensure safe disposal of light bulbs, tubes, batteries and electronic waste.
2.    Arrange a dedicated cardboard recycling skip for large amounts of cardboard waste.
3.    Send non-working equipment for repair or arrange for proper disassembly and recycling.
4.    Ensure all bins have correct signage to promote best practice.
5.    Remove individual landfill bins at desks and replace them with recycling bins (these results in very high rates of recycling since paper is by far the major component of office waste).
6.    Recycle or reuse all electronic and IT equipment that has been replaced.
7.    Establish a surplus property redistribution program to re-assign excess furniture, equipment and office supplies within the institution and to charity.

•      Fleet operation
1.    Continue to improve the fuel efficiency of the fleet by requesting 4- cylinder vehicles, hybrid and diesel technology
2.    Continue to monitor division’s transport fuel consumption and regularly report emissions.
3.    Provide information and education to staff on fuel-efficient driving.

•      Alternative transport
1.    Run an alternative travel awareness campaign.
2.    Promote bicycle parking & shower facilities in your area
3.    Investigate alternatives to air travel (i.e. tele/video conference facilities) and introduce incentives to make use of them.
4.    Investigate public transport incentives for staff
5.    Explore opportunities for carshare service

•      Air travel
1.    Monitor, report and manage staff air travel & emissions.
2.    Explore strategies to reduce staff air travel.
3.    Purchase carbon offsets for any flights taken.

Monitor, review and continuous improvement

1.    Review baseline energy use data to identify areas of significant energy consumption.
2.    Produce and regularly review a spend map that tracks on ‘green’ goods.
3.    Contact key suppliers to identify an agreed method to provide you with purchasing information.
4.    Get feedback from staff and students on the effectiveness of EfS programs
5.    Establish regular (monthly) environment committee meetings as a forum to monitor progress of the program, including:
    progress of the action
    plan progress toward targets
    Issues and opportunities arisen in the last period.
6.    Develop a program or process for capturing ideas from staff on how to reduce environmental impacts.
7.    Investigate rewards to encourage staff to come up with innovative ideas on how the business can reduce its environmental impacts.
8.    Establish a process to allow key staff access to professional development to further advance the environmental program, eg. Industry associations and briefings, internal and external training.
9.    Conduct workshops with key staff to:
    review past performance and successes
    identify challenges faced
    identify opportunities and future actions.
10.    Utilise information gathered in workshops to draft objectives and action plan for next period.


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