ACCC & AER annual report 2016-17

Appendix 5: Ecologically sustainable development

How the ACCC’s activities and administration of legislation accord with principles of ecologically sustainable development

The ACCC administers legislation that ensures lawful competition, consumer protection, and regulated national infrastructure markets and services. At all times, the ACCC pursues its outcomes and objectives in a manner that provides the maximum benefit to the maximum number of consumers with the least impact on resources and the environment.

How the ACCC’s outcome contributes to ecologically sustainable development

In achieving its outcome, the ACCC employs decision-making which, in line with s. 3A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, factors in the economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations over both the short and long term.

ACCC activities that affect the environment

To ensure the ACCC is able to effectively administer legislation and regulated national infrastructure markets and services, it has established offices at nine locations around Australia. The ACCC’s work aims to foster competitiveness and fairness, leading to more efficient and sustainable markets. The ACCC operates in line with the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy (EEGO) and ICT Sustainability Plan 2010−15, ensuring it remains committed to environmental sustainability and performance.

Measures taken to minimise the effect of activities on the environment

The ACCC is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its activities in a range of areas.


  • optimising environmental opportunities through refurbishment and new building projects
  • reducing fitout size and using sustainable materials where possible, and reusing or recycling office furniture
  • replacing halogen and fluorescent lighting with efficient, low energy LED lighting when opportunities arise
  • reprogramming operating duration of supplementary air conditioning to reduce energy and water consumption
  • installing programmable and efficient office lighting including motion sensors in new fitouts.

Information technology

  • retaining main servers on offsite location, reducing onsite energy consumption
  • using power-saving modes for ICT equipment when not in use
  • using LCD computer screens
  • reducing PC numbers and programming automatic shut down after hours
  • increasing use of ISO 14001 accredited printers for external printing services where appropriate
  • reducing printer numbers and improving printing efficiency in accordance with government requirements
  • using duplex printing and photocopying as a default setting on all printers and multi-function devices.


  • using information and communication technology as an alternative to business travel
  • servicing vehicles in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications
  • using E10 fuels for lease vehicles where possible.

Workplace efficiencies

  • placing emphasis on electronic records and electronic working arrangements, including reviewing lengthy reports and papers online rather than printing on paper
  • promoting access to ACCC publications electronically rather than in print.

Purchasing and procurement

  • purchasing 100 per cent recycled content copy paper
  • recycling all fluorescent tubes
  • procuring office equipment with low energy consumption and 65 per cent recycled content packaging
  • procuring environmentally friendly toilet consumables and cleaning products.

Waste management

  • improving its waste segregation practices including paper, co-mingled recycling, general waste, e-waste and in some offices organic waste
  • recycling paper and cardboard products, including pulping classified waste and providing use-again office envelopes
  • disposing of toner cartridges through a recycling outlet
  • disposing of mobile phones and batteries through a recycling outlet.

Information and education

  • establishing an environmental inbox for staff to submit ideas and encouraging staff to help identify/contribute to organisational environmental and sustainable initiatives, and formation of a champions network to help drive and promote initiatives
  • providing staff with biannual environmental reports highlighting targets achieved
  • collaborating regularly with building management to identify initiatives and participate in environmental activities such as Earth Hour.

Mechanisms for reviewing and increasing the effectiveness of measures

The ACCC environmental policy puts in place strategies towards better environmental and sustainable practices. The ACCC utilises a process of informal, continuous review of the various measures it employs to reduce the environmental impact of its activities.

Where further efficiencies are identified in the course of business, the ACCC endeavours to put in place the measures required to realise these efficiencies. All of the above is done in accordance with both the applicable funding and environmental guidelines available to the ACCC.