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Appendix 4: Environment

Commonwealth organisations have a statutory requirement to report on their environmental performance and how they accord with and advance the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) under Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Hearing Australia’s functions include assessing hearing, fitting/supply of hearing and assistive listening devices and providing counselling and rehabilitative programs to enable eligible clients to manage their hearing impairment and related education and research including hearing loss prevention. In carrying out these functions, we support and adhere to the sustainable procurement strategies set by the Australian Government for procurement processes, which are intended to drive performance, resource efficiency and innovation in supply chains and across industry.

Ecologically sustainable development (ESD)

Activities related to the ESD goal -


Relationship to ESD principles

Enhancement of ESD principles

Mercury free batteries

Batteries supplied by Hearing Australia to its clients fitted with hearing devices and other assistive listening devices have been mercury free since early 2018 (ahead of the national phase-down proposed for batteries in 2020).

Relative to several ESD principles most notably as a responsible economic, environmental and social decision.

We are now looking ahead and planning a transition to supply 100% rechargeable batteries. This will initiative significantly reduce the number of batteries sent to landfill as we ramp up to full implementation.

Environmental performance

The following measures were implemented to minimise the effect of our activities on the environment:


Measures taken to reduce effect

Enhancement of ESD principles

Energy efficiency

Landlord and tenant obligations under a Green Lease Schedule resulting in improved energy efficiency in the premises and building at the Australian Hearing Hub, our national head office, by implementing an Energy Management Plan in support of the requirements and objectives of the Australian Government's Energy Productivity and Efficiency priorities.

All new centre builds (small retail sites) incorporate energy efficient lighting. Air conditioning units are replaced with ones with the most appropriate refrigerant and all toilets, where included, are converted to or installed with dual flush systems.

Our motor vehicle fleet is largely 4 cylinder fuel-efficient, value for money, environmentally friendly vehicles for fleet use and high Green Vehicle Guide rating. We also promoted the use of energy efficient fuels such as diesel (for our twelve hearing buses) and the use of ethanol blended fuels (E10) where reasonably available.

All our fleet and hearing bus vehicles are regularly serviced/ maintained to ensure optimum fuel efficiency. Following a strategic review of our fleet policy in October 2017, it was determined that our standard vehicles of choice going forward will be the Toyota Corolla and Camry Hybrid. This will translate to reductions in fuel consumption of more than 30% per vehicle, resulting in considerably lower vehicle emissions.

We promote and support the use of video and phone conferencing instead of staff using air travel.


Most personal computers are manually shutdown and all monitors are put into sleep mode after 10 minutes of inactivity. Following introduction of a Solid State storage unit, we have virtualised around 97.5% of Wintel Server workload and 95% of Unix Server workload. Personal computer and monitors are all eco and power saving compliant.

Hearing Australia has migrated to a largely paper free environment. An e-Form framework has been established.

20% recycled copier paper is used in printers, photocopiers and multifunction devices.

The non-recycled component is from sustainably managed plantations and forestry operations. The copy paper is certified carbon neutral.

Our cleaning contractors provide environmentally friendly tissue paper (toilet paper and towels) and cleaning products.

Paper reduction technology was introduced to our printers to further reduce consumption of paper.


Hearing Australia is not a major water user and generally is not separately metered in our leased premises.

Environment - our commitment

Environmental Management clauses are included in supplier contracts to improve environmental performance, specifically compliance with the National Waste Policy, the National Environment Protection Measures, Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy and the Green Marketing and Australian Consumer Law guideline. This may cover use of energy efficient products, products from recycled materials or other environmentally preferable products, reduction/elimination of environmentally sensitive materials, material selection, design for end of life, product longevity/ life cycle extension, energy conservation, end of life management, and corporate management and packaging.