Go to top of page


We operated from 2 office buildings in Canberra: 1 Thynne Street, Bruce (T1) and 26 Thynne Street, Bruce (T26).

We are in the fifth year of a 15-year lease on a purpose-built 3-storey building at T1 and the first year of a 3-year lease at T26.

T1 is designed to achieve a 4.5-star National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rating.

Our Sydney-based office is in the second year of a 3-year lease and continued to operate from Level 9, 1 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. This office space accommodates up to 35 staff.

Tables 5.10 and 5.11 provide more information on our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.

Table 5.10: Ecologically sustainable development reporting, 30 June 2019

Reporting area

Activities undertaken by the AIHW

Legislation administered during
2018–19 accords with the principles of ecologically sustainable development

The AIHW does not administer this legislation.

The effect of the AIHW’s activities on the environment

Our key environmental impacts relate to the consumption of energy and goods, and waste generated in the course of business activities. Table 5.11 includes available information on energy consumption and waste recycling.

Measures taken to minimise the impact of AIHW activities on the environment in our main office in Canberra

Provision of amenities for staff who ride bicycles to work.

Use of energy-efficient lighting, including the installation of light-emitting diode lighting in selected areas.

Purchasing 10% GreenPower electricity.

Purchasing only energy-efficient equipment that is Energy Star compliant.

‘Shutting-down’ multifunctional devices when they are left idle for long periods.

Movement-activated lighting that turns off after 20 minutes of no movement being detected.

Double-glazed windows to increase the efficiency of heating and cooling.

Installation of a modern, efficient air-conditioning system.

Installation of a rainwater tank system to supply the toilets, urinals and external taps.

Recycling of toner cartridges and paper.

Purchasing paper with at least 50% recycled content for printing and copying.

Re-use of stationery items such as ring binders.

Recycling bins in kitchens for collection of organic waste for worm farming.

Printing of our publications using ‘print-on-demand’ processes using paper sourced from sustainably managed, certified forests in accordance with ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems and ISO9001 Quality Management Systems.

Trialling the provision of soft plastic disposal, an initiative managed by staff.

Mechanisms for reviewing and improving measures to minimise the impact of the AIHW on the environment

We worked to comply with benchmark environmental impact indicators at 1 Thynne St, which is designed to achieve a 4.5-star NABERS rating.

Table 5.11: Electricity and paper consumption and recycled waste, 2014–15 to 2018–19






Electricity consumption

Canberra office (kilowatt hours, as office tenant light and power)(a)






Sydney office




Paper consumption (reams)

Canberra office






Sydney office




Recycled waste

Organics from kitchens (tonnes)(b)






Toner cartridges Canberra (number)






Toner cartridges Sydney office




Government greenhouse and energy reporting

The Australian Government’s Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy helps government agencies to identify opportunities to save energy. We are required to comply with the policy because we derive more than half the funds for our operations from the Australian Government, either directly or indirectly.

The policy requires agencies to comply with certain minimum energy performance standards, including that eligible new leases contain a Green Lease Schedule with at least a 4.5-star NABERS energy requirement.

The lease agreement for our main Canberra office at T1 meets this requirement. The Sydney and T26 offices are exempt from this policy as the area leased is less than 2,000 square metres.

Ecological sustainable development

We uphold the principles of ecologically sustainable development outlined in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and are committed to making a positive contribution to achieving its objectives (see Accommodation for tables 5.10 and 5.11). Section 516A(6) of this Act requires us to report on environmental matters, including ecologically sustainable development.

We continued to manage our toner cartridge recycling and use of paper through central printing pools, increased use of our online project management system and increased staff use of a redeveloped intranet site. In addition, we utilised an e-Recruit system which assists in reducing paper consumption. EL staff and staff working from T26 were allocated tablets to reduce the requirement to print documents and create a more mobile workforce. We are also reducing the volume of paper-based publications and transitioning content to online platforms. In 2018–19, we consumed our lowest volume of toner and paper in the last 3 financial years, while staffing numbers have increased by almost 40%. We are progressing with plans to support broader Australian Government initiatives in relation to digital transition, which will see a further reduction in toner and paper consumption.

We collected 3.3 tonnes of organic waste, the highest volume in the past 5 years, as part of our green initiative. This waste was subsequently fed to worms and recycled into organic fertiliser by an external provider