Environmental policy

1. Introduction

This policy aims to reduce both current and future environmental impacts of the department through both staff behavioural change and infrastructure improvements.

2. Scope

This policy is applicable to all operations and services of the department at all locations. Agencies linked to the department are expected to comply with the spirit of this policy in the context of the organisation in which they work.

3. Policy statement

The Environment policy has been developed to increase awareness of the environmental impacts that the organisation faces and to demonstrate commitment to further reducing these impacts over time.

The department has responsibility for more than 80 sites across Victoria. The 2015 Annual Report demonstrates that the department is responsible for environmental impacts associated with:

  • consuming 130 million megajoules of electricity and gas
  • consuming 110,000 kilolitres of water
  • travelling around 10 million kilometres by car
  • generating around 130,000 kilograms of office waste
  • purchasing 40,000 reams of paper
  • emitting 30,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Staff are required to familiarise themselves and act in accordance with the Environment policy.


Emissions: actively identify and implement (where practical) improvements to minimise the production of greenhouse gases through our everyday activities.

Consumption: actively identify and implement (where practical) improvements to minimise consumption and promote efficient use of energy, water, paper and other material inputs.

Waste: strive to reduce the amount of waste produced whilst maximising the amount we reuse and recycle.

Procurement: incorporate environmental principles and, where possible, life cycle costing when procuring goods and services and request that suppliers remove and reuse packaging when goods are procured in bulk.

Transport: consider environmental factors when purchasing and using fleet vehicles and travel sustainably when practical.

Infrastructure: ensure all new capital works programs and office relocations incorporate comprehensive environmental sustainability principles.

Compliance: comply with all relevant environmental legislation, regulations and policies.

Monitoring: monitor and review our environmental performance against annually reviewed targets. Improve the quality of data collected and reported.

Communication: communicate our environmental performance to all staff and stakeholders whilst encouraging participation and feedback.


Staff are expected to:

  • save energy
  • utilise smarter travel
  • utilise greener procurement
  • save water
  • utilise waste and recycling systems
  • save paper.

Any issues/concerns can be raised with environment representatives or the Environment Manager.

Environment representatives are expected to:

  • communicate environmental information to staff
  • encourage staff to behave in an environmentally responsible manner and participate in environmental initiatives
  • ensure new staff members are aware of their environmental responsibilities
  • act as a point of contact for staff and report issues/concerns to the Environment Manager.

There should be at least one environment representative for each floor / location occupied by the department (where practical).

The Environment Manager is expected to:

  • maintain the Environmental Management System (EMS) and related documentation
  • provide quarterly and annual report information to senior management
  • organise and implement environmental staff behaviour change campaigns
  • provide environmental support and guidance to all staff when required
  • monitor, measure and publicly report environmental performance
  • identify risks to the department's environmental performance
  • set annual targets to further reduce all environmental impacts
  • ensure new capital works programs incorporate comprehensive environmental sustainability principles
  • ensure operational activities comply with environmental legislation, government policy and relevant departmental environmental procedures and guidelines.

Managers are expected to:

  • provide feedback to the Environment Manager on quarterly and annual reports
  • ensure the Environment policy appropriately articulates the department's commitments
  • support the implementation of the EMS
  • identify opportunities to embed environmental sustainability throughout the department's activities.

6. Glossary/definitions

Environmental Management System (EMS) – this is a structured system or management tool which, once implemented, helps an organisation to identify the environmental impacts resulting from its business activities and to improve its environmental performance. The system aims to provide a methodical approach to planning, implementing and reviewing an organisation's environmental management.

Environmental aspects - elements of an organisation's activities, products and services that can interact with the environment, that is, have a negative or positive environmental impact. These are recorded in the Environmental Aspects and Impacts Register.

Environmental legal requirements - legal and other requirements relating to environmental performance must be identified, and kept up to date in the Environmental Register of Legal and Other Requirements.

Environmental objectives and targets – these are the overall goals that an organisation sets itself to achieve. Environmental targets are detailed performance requirements that arise from the environmental objectives.

Standard operating procedures - the standard procedures that staff need to follow which are outlined in the EMS in order to achieve compliance.

Page last updated: 20 July 2016