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Environmental performance

The following information is provided in accordance with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The National Archives is committed to ecologically sustainable development and to improving its environmental performance in the areas of energy, waste and water consumption for all existing and future accommodation occupancy projects.

In 2019–20, the National Archives continued to mitigate its impact on the environment by:

  • using follow-me printers and implementing digital authorisations and workflow approvals
  • encouraging a segregated waste management policy to correctly handle paper, cardboard, mixed recyclables, toners, chemicals and waste to landfill
  • using electronic document management systems and web-based information-sharing tools
  • reviewing the portfolio to reduce the property footprint while maintaining the integrity of the repositories and the provision of access and public engagement services
  • ensuring that leases complied with the Australian Government’s energy-efficiency policy while making sure that the room temperatures and relative humidity levels required for the long-term preservation of collection material housed in repositories were maintained
  • working closely with landlords to maximise the efficiency of base building plant and control systems
  • replacing ageing plant and equipment with updated technologies
  • procuring energy-efficient equipment, such as smart lighting systems that activate only when work areas are occupied
  • maintaining a fleet of seven leased vehicles to ensure that operational requirements were effectively met while minimising any potential environmental impacts.

NABERS energy rating
The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) measures the environmental performance of buildings, tenancies and homes. NABERS measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment.

In accordance with the current Green Lease Schedule for the Peter Durack Building in the Canberra suburb of Mitchell, the National Archives is required to achieve a 4.5-star NABERS tenancy rating. In June 2020, the agency achieved a 5.3-star NABERS energy tenancy rating.

Table 9 I Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance, 2017–18 to 2019–20

2017–18

2018–19

2019–20

Electricity consumption (kilowatt hours)

3,693,390

3,756,700

3,960,123

Natural gas consumption (megajoules)

4,481,812

4,245,026

6,915,276

Solar energy generated – Cannon Hill, Qld, and Parkes, ACT (kilowatt hours)

62,784

59,325

63,163

Reduction in CO₂ emissions – Cannon Hill, Qld, and Parkes, ACT (kilograms)

36,141

34,289

35,930

Paper used (reams)

945

1,286

1,429

Water consumption (kilolitres)

16,844

14,164

18,129

Waste produced by ACT sites (kilograms)

3,297

5,822

12,877

Waste produced by non-ACT sites (kilograms)

17,904

17,742

15,546

Recycling – all sites (kilograms)

12,981

7,863

27,713