Environmental Sustainability

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Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) requires Australian Government organisations to detail their environmental performance and contribution to Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD). Table 4-16 (below) provides an overview of the TSRA's environmental activities and operations in relation to Section 516A of the EPBC Act.

Table 4-17 Compliance with the EPBC Act, section 516A (Environmental Reporting)

ESD reporting requirement TSRA response
How the TSRA's activities accord with the principles of ecologically sustainable development. The TSRA has issued an environmental policy outlining measures to improve its ecological sustainability. During 2012 - 2013, the TSRA implemented its Environmental Management system which is focused on ensuring that the TSRA is taking all reasonable steps to reduce its ecological footprint.
The TSRA's environmental risks are managed at the project, program and portfolio levels and are captured in the organisation's risks and issues registers.
The TSRA maintains an Environmental Legal and Other Requirements Register.
The TSRA has established a biennial audit process for its Environmental Management system. The next audit is scheduled for 2014.
Outcomes contributing to ecologically sustainable development. The TSRA's Environmental Management Program contributes to ecologically sustainable development across all Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Communities. This includes:
  • improving animal management and pest control
  • reducing waste management issues and environmental impact
  • increasing the use of renewable energies
  • managing the effects of climate change, specifically tidal inundation and erosion.
Environmental impacts of operations The TSRA is committed to managing its operations and those of its contractors to minimise adverse environmental impacts and protect the environment. There were no recorded adverse environmental impacts from TSRA activities in 2012 - 2013.

Table 4-17 Compliance with the EPBC Act, section 516A (Environmental Reporting)

ESD reporting requirement TSRA response
Measures taken to minimise environmental impacts The TSRA requires its employees, contractors and suppliers to comply with the TSRA's Environment Policy and environmental management systems by:
  • implementing conservation measures in the TSRA's offices
  • minimising the environmental impacts through better design and material selection for new staff housing
  • requiring contractors to comply with relevant environmental regulatory requirements and minimum environmental performance requirements
  • managing and reporting environmental incidents.

The TSRA monitors a range of environmental performance indicators, including energy use within TSRA offices, energy ratings of white goods purchased for TSRA staff housing, fuel consumption and vehicle performance.
The TSRA has adopted appropriate technologies to reduce travel and its dependency on paper-based filing systems. Those technologies include:
  • telephone and video conferencing facilities
  • iPads, to be used at all formal meetings, reducing paper consumption
  • an electronic document and records management system.

The TSRA continues to modernise its computing operations through the adoption of new virtual technologies and desktop solutions. The new technology provides the TSRA with the opportunity to further reduce energy consumption and the impact of computers on the environment.