Section 516A of the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 requires that
government organisations report annually on their
environmental performance and contribution to
ecologically sustainable development (ESD).
Comcare’s activities, including the administration of
federal law, help promote and facilitate the health of
individuals—contributing to ESD by maintaining and
developing social and economic capital.
Comcare’s awareness of and response to
environmental issues is increasing and a number of
activities have further built capability and performance
in this area.
Externally, Comcare provides the ability to download
publications from its website. This allows documents
to be sent and stored electronically, reducing the
impact of printing and distribution of hard copy
Comcare recognises, however, that day-to-day
activities consume resources and create waste.
We have established the Thinking Green Program to reduce our environmental impact. This program
established Comcare’s Environmental Management
Committee, which has focused its efforts on the key
areas of Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) and building operations as the major consumers
of energy and other resources.
Comcare is taking many steps to minimise the impact
of our activities on the environment, including:
- ensuring Green Lease Schedules are established in
relevant building leases
- participating in whole-of-government purchasing
arrangements for electricity
- recycling 100 per cent of toner cartridges
- using server virtualisation to reduce both power
consumption and computer hardware requirements
- contributing to the Online System for
Comprehensive Reporting (OSCAR) of
- providing bicycle facilities and showers to
encourage employees to cycle to work.
In addition, in 2010–11 Comcare:
- installed new lighting control systems in our
Canberra Office to reduce power consumption
- purchased new computers with key energy
- re-engineered internal procedures to reduce
transport and printing of materials
- collected aluminium cans for donation to a local
Scout group which recycles them and uses the
proceeds to fund its activities
- purchased 50 per cent recycled A4 paper,
100 per cent recycled secure paper waste, and
recycled other stationery items
- facilitated and participated in a new program for
recycling used toner cartridges with a supplier
- progressed the consolidation of its printing fleet
and consumables by introducing a multi-function
device solution to printing.
Performance in focus—Results
As a result of its environmental performance activities
the following outcomes were achieved in 2010–11:
- Energy consumption per person increased from
8154 MJ/person/annum in 2009–10 to
8705 MJ/person/annum in 2010–11 representing
an increase of 6 per cent. Comcare is still
aiming to meet the 2011–12 Energy Efficiency
in Government Operations Policy (EEGO) target
of 7500 MJ/person/annum. Achieving this target
will be assisted by energy efficient IT and printing
equipment installed during the middle of 2011.
The implementation of lighting and other building
upgrades in 2011 should also produce energy
savings during 2011–12.
- Paper consumption for A4 printer paper in the
2010–11 financial year was 11 370 reams of
paper, compared to 11 310 reams of paper in
the 2009–10 financial year. This represents a
less than 1 per cent increase. However, due to a
12 per cent growth within the organisation this
financial year, our paper consumption has been
reduced by 11 per cent.
- Seventy-seven per cent (10 of 13) of Comcare’s
vehicle fleet has a Green Vehicle Guide (GVG)
rating of 10.5 or higher, which significantly
exceeds the Australian Government target of
28 per cent of agency vehicles having a GVG
rating of 10.5 or higher.
- In 2010–11 Comcare developed a program to
participate in the ACT Government ACTSmart Office
Recycling program. This program is intended to
be implemented in early 2011–12, with audits of
waste type and quantity being completed in
- Comcare’s Canberra Office has recycled
approximately 96kg of aluminium cans.
- Comcare also participated in a base building
bathroom and common area lighting upgrade
program that included upgrade to energy efficient
T5 lighting. In addition, a sensor lighting system
with new motion sensor LED lighting was installed
in the lift foyer area.
- In 2010–11 Comcare’s Canberra office
participated in the building owner’s Strategic
Improvement Plan to improve sustainability
performance with a target of 4.5 stars for NABERS
Energy. The project involves upgrading mechanical
services to deliver greater efficiency and improved