The following summary of DVA’s environmental management activities and performance is provided in accordance with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Environmental commitment statement
DVA is committed to integrating environmental sustainability into its business by:
- complying with relevant legislation and policies
- minimising its carbon footprint
- using resources effectively
- minimising waste and reducing energy and resource consumption
- creating a culture in which environmental considerations are integrated into business activities
- considering the environmental aspects of procurement.
Outcomes for ecologically sustainable development
DVA’s outcomes contribute to the principles of ecologically sustainable development as set out in section 3A of the EPBC Act. In 2018–19 DVA’s contribution is in the effective delivery of Australian Government services with as little environmental impact as possible.
Environmental impact of operations
DVA has taken measures to minimise the impact of its operations on the environment, as set out in the EPBC Act.
Fleet and fuel usage
At the end of 2018–19 DVA had 40 fleet vehicles, which it continues to replace at lease end with smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. Eight vehicles (20 per cent of the DVA fleet) are cost-effective hybrids and the use of e10 fuel is encouraged. DVA has adopted an in-vehicle asset management system for monitoring fleet usage and identifying underutilised vehicles.
DVA reduces the requirement for air travel by using videoconferencing and teleconferencing facilities in each main office location. DVA is currently upgrading older video conference facilities to improve the service.
Environmentally friendly purchasing
DVA’s procurement processes promote consideration of environmental issues. In 2018–19, 100 per cent of the standard copy/printer paper purchased by the department had a recycled component.
Water consumption at commemorative sites
The location of war cemeteries and Gardens of Remembrance often means that supplementary water is required to achieve active plant growth. Various types of irrigation systems, including automatic systems, and various water sources are used. At many sites, water has become progressively less available. In response, the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) employs best-practice horticultural standards, sourcing both non-potable water at some sites, and has reduced its water consumption while striving to maintain the longstanding features and standards of presentation.
OAWG maintains the Sir John Monash Centre at the Australian National Memorial in France. The recently completed centre incorporates a number of sustainable design systems to reduce water and energy consumption. A geothermal system is used for heating and cooling the building and its mechanical systems. The system draws on the consistent temperature of the earth by using heat-exchange pumps to cycle water up to 185 metres below the ground. Rain and stormwater runoff is also collected in a series of tanks for grey water use.