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The EPA has initiatives in place to monitor its own environmental performance. We aim to reduce our energy and travel use, and minimise waste.
In March 2009, the EPA relocated staff from premises at 77 Grenfell St, Adelaide, Kent Town and Stirling to 250 Victoria Square, a six-star energy efficient rated building with a five-star fit-out.
- Move to new 6-star building, consolidating three worksites to one and reducing the floor space occupied.
- Timers installed on photocopiers to ensure they power down after business hours.
- Low energy lighting tubes.
- Light sensors control lighting throughout the building, with automatic dimming as natural light takes over.
- Central atrium reduces need for lights.
- Higher ambient air temperature for air conditioning.
- Blinds to reduce glare and heat on windows, reducing strain on air conditioning
- Low energy use fridges, microwaves and dishwashers.
- Computer monitor screens replaced with thin film transistor screens, resulting in a 37% energy reduction from this source.
- Automatic power down and sleep modes installed on all computer monitors.
- Faxes and printers reduced in number (60%) by replacing them with multi-function devices.
- 50% reduction in kitchen fridges and only two fridges have freezers.
The centralisation of staff following closures of Kent Town, Stirling and Grenfell Street offices, to 250 Victoria Square, a six-star building with a five-star fitout, resulted in a reduction of occupied space from 5,280 m2 in 2007-08 to 4,762.5 m2. The impact of the shift was demonstrated with a marked reduction in energy consumed for office accommodation from 396 tonnes of greenhouse emissions in 2007-08 to 239 tonnes.
The EPA needs to maintain a fleet of vehicles in order to undertake site visits and inspections, and other EPA business.
The number of vehicles has been reduced from 37 in 2004, to 26 at June 2012.
CO2 emissions from EPA vehicles has been reduced from 194 tonnes in 2002-03 to 111 tonnes in 2011-12.
One of EPA's environmental goals for is for 'the sustainable use of resources - reducing costs to business and environmental impacts by promoting the efficient use of resources and waste minimisation'.
In support of this concept within the office environment in 250 Victoria Square, all waste management and recycling is managed in partnership with the lessors building management. Containers for all waste are provided within utilities rooms and kitchens, and collected regularly by cleaning staff, recording quantities and contents recycled where possible. Streams of waste collected include:
- co-mingled recyclable waste
- organic food waste
- white paper and confidential paper destruction
- general dry waste.
As a means of encouraging staff to consider recycling and appropriate disposal of waste, only paper recycling bins are provided at work stations. Regular waste audits were conducted to ascertain staff understanding of waste streams.
All toner cartridges from photocopying machines and printers were also collected and recycled.
The EPA continues to demonstrate a leadership role in best practice environmentally sustainable behaviour in the workplace to other businesses and communities in the state.
The EPA's Sustainability@Work (S@W) Team meets on a bi-monthly basis to discuss sustainable practices in the workplace, including promoting initiatives, ensuring actions are implemented and working towards instilling a culture to reduce the EPA's environmental footprint.
In 2011-12 the EPA implemented the second year of its three-year Environment Action Plan focusing on energy, water, waste, transportation and green purchasing. The S@W Team implemented the actions in its plan with the assistance of EPA staff.
Key achievements for 2011-12 include:
- Battery recycling: a battery-recycling service was officially implemented for EPA staff to use at 250 Victoria Square. To date a total of 35 kg of batteries have been sent for recycling.
- Fluorescent tube recycling for the whole of the EPA: the EPA is now a signatory to the FluoroCycle Scheme, a scheme that aims to increase the recycling of lamps containing mercury and reduce the amount of mercury entering the environment. As part of its commitment to the scheme, the EPA is now recycling all of its waste mercury containing lamps (mainly fluorescent tubes) at all EPA locations.
- Beverage container recycling bins: improvements have been made to the beverage container bin collection service through the purchase of sealed 120-litre plastic bins to assist with the increasing collection of beverage containers. Plastic biodegradable liners have also been installed.
- All printers/photocopiers at the EPA 250 Victoria Square are set to print to double-sided. The EPA Board and Executive now use iPads to view attachments to meeting papers, substantially cutting down on large documents having to be printed for each member.
The S@W team have been running a number of initiatives to encourage staff to think before they print and reduce the amount of colour printing including the following:
- Staff awareness through statistics comparing colour and black and white annual printing volumes and costs with suggestions to set default printers to a black and white machine.
- World Environment Day Morning Tea: a paper display set up to provide a visual message to staff about the amount of paper used in our printers and messages around 'Is printing necessary'. Also, information about the cost of printing and advice on how to change printer settings.
- Promoting an install default to 'Mailbox' setting on staff computers and assisting staff to do this so that all printing goes directly to a 'Mailbox' on the printer/photocopier resulting in a reduction in unnecessary printing.
- Wherever possible, the EPA uses service providers who follow sustainable principles and use recyclable materials.
- Walk to Work Day was held on 16 September 2011 and, to celebrate, the S@W team provided a breakfast for those who walked to work, some of whom walked up to eight kilometres.
- The 10,000 Step Program ran from 19 September until 14 October 2011, with 20 participants. An award was given to the individual with the most improved daily average steps, with another to the individual with the highest number of steps over the program
- The EPA Bicycle User Group and S@W celebrated Ride to Work Day on 17 October 2011, with the EPA's Bike to Work Week held between 26 and 30 March 2012. Activities included information sessions on bicycle maintenance, legal facts about cycling on roads, and how to ride safely. Both events were wrapped up with a healthy breakfast for all participants.
Last modified: 20/11/2012 03:11 pm