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Appendix 6: 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 (Cth), factors in the economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations over both the short and the long term.

ACCC activities that affect the environment

To ensure the ACCC is able to effectively administer legislation and regulate national infrastructure markets and services, it has established offices at 10 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 and the Australian Public Service Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy and
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.
  • Exploring energy-efficient building options for new leases, reducing fit-out size, using sustainable materials where possible, and reusing or recycling office furniture.
  • Using efficient, low-energy LED lighting when opportunities arise.
  • Programming supplementary air conditioning to reduce energy and water consumption.
  • Installing programmable and efficient office lighting, including motion sensors, in new fit-outs.
  • For existing commercial offices over 2000 m2, maintain a minimum energy performance standard of 4.5 stars from NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System).
  • Focusing on sustainable waste management practices and improving employee awareness through behaviour change programs.
  • Continuing monitoring and reporting of the ACCC’s whole property portfolio energy consumption.

Information technology

  • Retaining main servers in offsite locations, reducing onsite energy consumption.
  • Using power-saving modes for ICT equipment when not in use.
  • 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 follow-me printing, duplex printing and photocopying as a default setting on all printers and multi-function devices.


  • Using ICT options as an alternative to business travel.
  • Reducing vehicle fleet and 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.
  • Promoting access to ACCC publications electronically rather than in print.

Purchasing and procurement

  • Purchasing 100 per cent post-consumer recycled content copy paper.
  • Procuring office equipment with low energy consumption.

Waste management

  • Improving waste segregation practices, including paper, commingled 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.
  • Recycling all fluorescent tubes.
  • Disposing of mobile phones and batteries through a recycling outlet.

Information and education

  • Collaborating regularly with building management to identify initiatives and participate in local environmental activities.

Mechanisms for reviewing and increasing the effectiveness of measures

The ACCC environmental strategy focuses on 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.