Many of Geoscience Australia’s programs contribute to an improved understanding of the physical nature and health of the natural environment. See the Annual Performance Statements in Chapter One for more details of specific activities.
Geoscience Australia also pursues ecologically sustainable development initiatives in its property and facilities management. Geoscience Australia uses an environmental management system
to identify, modify and control environmental impacts in areas such as waste management, recycling and chemical disposal. Monitoring and reporting on water and energy consumption are also incorporated into the system.
The Geoscience Australia building at Symonston in the Australian Capital Territory has many ecologically sustainable features, including:
- a north–south orientation to increase access to natural light
- infrared movement detection for lighting in general office areas
- a geothermal air-conditioning system
- double-glazed windows and doors
- a large building footprint, allowing for a low ratio of external wall to gross floor area, minimising the impact of external thermal conditions on the air-conditioning system.
As part of a whole-of-government arrangement, facilities management provider Evolve FM Pty Ltd is responsible for the environmental management of the building and facilities, including monitoring and reporting.
Environmental initiatives at the building during 2018–19 included continuing to replace temperature sensors for the building heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; install a state-of-the-art building management system; and replace fluorescent lighting in the office environment with efficient light-emitting diode lighting controlled through a digital interface.
The lessor has made an ongoing commitment to improve the current rating of zero stars to at least four stars under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).