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We operated from 3 office buildings in Canberra: 1 Thynne Street, Bruce (T1), 26 Thynne Street, Bruce (T26), and 27 Thynne Street, Bruce (T27).

We are in the sixth year of a 15-year lease on a purpose-built 3-storey building at T1, the second year of a 3-year lease at T26 and leasing space on a month-to-month basis at T27. The space occupied at T27 is interim, while we await the construction of purpose- built office space at 9 Thynne Street, Bruce, which is estimated to be ready for occupancy in April 2021.

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

Our Sydney-based office is in the third 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 information on our efforts to reduce our impact on the environment.

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 directly or indirectly derive more than half the funds for our operations from the Australian Government.

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, T26 and T27 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 Table 5.10: Electricity and paper consumption and recycled waste, 2015–16 to 2019–20 and Table 5.11: Ecologically sustainable development reporting, 30 June 2020). Section 516A(6) of this Act requires us to report on environmental matters, including ecologically sustainable development.

In 2019–20, we consumed our lowest volume of toner and paper in the last 5 financial years, while staffing numbers were similar to the same time last year; however, the reduction in staff attendance due to COVID-19 was a contributing factor. 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 2.7 tonnes of organic waste, the second 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.

Table 5.10: Electricity and paper consumption and recycled waste, 2015–16 to 2019–20






Electricity consumption

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






Sydney office

. .





Paper consumption (reams)

Canberra offices






Sydney office

. .





Recycled waste

Organics from kitchens (tonnes)(b)






Toner cartridges Canberra offices (number)






Toner cartridges Sydney office

. .





.. not applicable.

(a) Office air conditioning is metered to the base building while light and power are separately metered.

(b) Figures are for all 3 Canberra offices.

Table 5.11: Ecologically sustainable development reporting, 30 June 2020

Reporting area

Activities undertaken by the AIHW

Legislation administered during 2019–20 accords with the principles of ecologically sustainable development

Not applicable.

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 5.10 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

Provided amenities for staff who ride bicycles to work.

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

Purchased 10% GreenPower electricity.

Purchased 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.

Operated a modern, efficient air-conditioning system.

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

Recycled toner cartridges and paper.

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

Re-used stationery items such as ring binders.

Supplied recycling bins in kitchens for collection of organic waste for worm farming.

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

Recycled soft plastics, 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 T1, which is designed to achieve a 4.5-star NABERS rating.