Appendix 1: Ecologically sustainable development

The Department of Jobs and Small Business reports on the environmental impacts of its activities under section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The department continues to focus optimising the occupancy rates and energy efficiency of its property portfolio. National headquarters buildings at 10, 12 and 14 Mort Street and 140–180 City Walk Canberra have achieved an overall occupancy rate of 91.27 per cent at June 2018.

Tenancies in states and territories continue to be reviewed and rationalised as leases expire. For example, the department will be relocating its Hobart office to a smaller tenancy when the current lease expires in October 2018.

An upgrade of the lighting and lighting control systems at 14 Mort Street (previously the least energy efficient building in the Canberra property portfolio) has been completed, with a modern Dali lighting control system and LED luminaires throughout, replacing old manual controls and inefficient T8 fluorescent tubes. Energy usage data to date indicates that the upgraded building will be approximately 60 per cent more energy efficient, saving electricity costs and reducing emissions by about 500 tonnes CO2-e each year.

Environmental performance

The department’s environmental performance, with comparison to the previous year, is summarised in Tables 21 to 24.

Office and building energy use

Improvements to the lighting at 14 Mort Street Canberra and rationalisation of the department’s property portfolio have achieved significant energy savings, particularly in terms of energy use per person (full-time equivalent) which decreased by 20.67 per cent. Additionally, energy intensity per square metre improved by 11.10 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions from tenant light and power decreased by 14.96 per cent.

Table 24. Summary of office and building energy use 2017–18
Indicator 2016–17 2017-18 % change
Office tenant light and power energy use per full-time equivalent (MJ/FTE) 7,997.93 6,344.43 –20.67%
Office tenant light and power energy use per square metre (MJ/m2) 326.17 289.96 –11.10%
Greenhouse emissions attributed to office tenant light and power energy use (tonnes/CO2-e) 3,139.27 2,669.58 –14.96%
Green power purchased, as a percentage of total electricity consumption 8.57% 8.32% –2.92%

CO2-e = carbon dioxide equivalent; kWh = kilowatt hour; MJ = megajoule; FTE = full time equivalent (the most appropriate indicator of staff numbers).

Information and communications technology

Efficiency in the deployment of information and communication technology (ICT) equipment to staff and the ratio of printers to computers have continued to improve in 2017–18, with improvements of 20 per cent in the computer to printer ratio and 7 per cent in the devices to user ratio – building on last year’s improvements of over 16 per cent in both ratios.

Table 25. Summary of ICT sustainability 2017–18
Indicator 2016–17 2017–18 % change
Desktop computers to printer ratio 15:1 12:1 -20.00%
Desktop devices per end user 1.57 1.46 -7.01%

Vehicle fleet and air travel

The size of the department’s vehicle fleet has increased by 4.76 per cent since 2016–17, from 42 to 44. The department continued to provide a range of ICT and property services to the Department of Education and Training during 2017–18 and the vehicle fleet was involved in many of these services.

The average Green Vehicle Guide rating of the fleet remains constant at 13.4. The operational efficiency of the vehicle fleet has improved: average fuel efficiency has improved by 8.21 per cent, so that final greenhouse gas emissions have only risen by 4.90 per cent while the total increase in kilometres travelled was 6.17 per cent.

Total flight distance travelled was 1.88 per cent lower in 2017–18. Greenhouse gas emissions data are now provided by QBT, the department’s travel contractor, and are reported for the first time. Year-to-year comparisons will be possible in 2018–19.

Table 26. Summary of vehicle fleet and air travel 2017–18
Indicator 2016–17 2017–18 % change
Total number of fleet vehicles 42 44 +4.76%
Average green vehicle rating of fleet 13.4 13.4 unchanged
Total kilometres (km) travelled 271,144 287,879 +6.17%
Average fuel consumption of vehicle fleet (litres/100 km) 8.28 8.96 +8.21%
Total direct greenhouse emissions of fleet (tonnes/CO2-e) 43.68 45.82 +4.90%
Total distance of flights (km) 7,289,278 7,153,697 -1.88%
Greenhouse emissions attributed to flights (tonnes/CO2-e) n/a 671.62 n/a

Resource efficiency and waste

Total paper usage continues to be reduced, falling by 7.63 per cent in 2017–18 to 6.54 reams per person a year.

In 2017–18, 69.63 per cent of paper purchased was either 100 per cent post-consumer recycled stock or carbon neutral. A further 12.88 per cent had significant recycled content or other environmental credentials, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, leaving only 17.49 per cent coming from virgin stock without environmental standards.

The waste management system in Canberra continues to achieve very good results. In 2017–18, 13.99 tonnes of organic material was diverted from landfill to vermiculture—reducing emissions and producing beneficial worm castings and compost. This was slightly lower than the total of 14.40 tonnes in 2016–17, but 6.88 per cent higher on a per person basis (kilograms per FTE).

Table 27. Summary of resource efficiency and waste 2017–18
Indicator 2016–17 2017–17 % change
Office paper purchased by FTE (A4 reams/FTE) 7.08 6.54 -7.63%
Percentage of paper purchased with recycled content 85.62% 82.51% -3.62%
Office paper recycled (kilograms per FTE)* 83.51 69.96 -16.23%
Total landfill waste produced (kilograms per FTE)* 18.99 26.72 +40.71%
Total commingled recycling (kilograms per FTE)* 11.90 13.84 +14.02%
Total organic recycling (kilograms per FTE)* 7.44 7.99 +6.88%

*Waste and recycling data only available for the ACT.

Looking ahead

Following the success of the lighting upgrade at 14 Mort Street, the department has negotiated a similar arrangement with the owners of our largest Canberra tenancy at 140-180 City Walk to replace old fluorescent lighting with LED luminaires and upgrade the lighting control system. The new system installation will begin in financial year 2018–19.