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E. Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

This appendix summarises Austrade’s reported energy consumption in its Australian operations, as required by the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy, as well as other aspects of Austrade’s environmental performance in 2019–20, in accordance with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.


During 2019–20, Austrade’s energy consumption decreased by 14.7 per cent compared to 2018–19. Total electrical energy consumption fell from 474,401 kilowatt hours in 2018–19 to 404,889 kilowatt hours in 2019–20. These figures exclude Austrade’s Canberra office, as there is no ability to isolate Austrade’s energy consumption from that of other Australian Government entities sharing the premises.

Table E1 shows Austrade’s electricity consumption in Australia for the last two years, as well as the greenhouse emissions associated with that consumption.

Emissions have been calculated using the 2019 emissions factors released by the then Department of the Environment and Energy.


During 2019–20, Austrade supported a total of 270,026 video calls, representing approximately 117,724 hours of cloud- hosted calls and 152,302 hours of internal videoconferencing. Austrade has 147 room-based videoconference end points and approximately 1,200 individual users of mobile videoconference facilities, accessed from phones, tablets and laptops.


Austrade continued to manage and review approaches for minimising its environmental impact across its offices in Australia and overseas. These practices included reducing waste by establishing recycling systems for a range of office supplies, consumables and general waste from workspaces and staff kitchens. In March 2020, Austrade moved to a new Sydney office located at Barangaroo. This building has stringent waste management practices and procedures, with multiple waste streams in place to promote recycling and minimise landfill.


Water consumption is difficult for Austrade to measure on a broad scale as most of its tenancies are not separately metered for water consumption. Austrade’s facility and office managers continue to work with building owners, where possible, to improve water consumption and introduce water- saving measures, such as waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets and flow restrictors on taps.


Austrade operates under the Australian Trade and Investment Commission Act 1985 and administers the Export Market Development Grants scheme pursuant to the Export Market Development Grants Act 1997. While neither Act makes specific reference to ecologically sustainable development or sustainability principles, Austrade continues to adhere to government policy and ministerial directives on sustainability.

Table E1: Austrade's electricity consumption in Australia, 2018–19 and 2019–20





Office tenant light and power (kilowatt hours)




Greenhouse emissions attributed to office tenant light and power energy use (tonnes CO2 equivalent)





Figures exclude Austrade’s Canberra office, as whole-of-government arrangements at that office do not allow Austrade to isolate its energy consumption levels.

Figures include five months of data in the new Sydney office.

Austrade’s onshore staff worked from home from late March 2020 to June 2020, reducing the regular electricity consumption.

Our 2018–19 annual report stated incorrectly on page 214 that Austrade’s total electrical energy consumption was 471.4 kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2018–19 and 490.7 kWh in 2017–18. The correct figures are 474,401 kWh and 490,720 kWh, respectively.