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Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) - s516A EPBC Act Reporting
NAIF has a statutory obligation under section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to report on how its activities accord with ESD principles and to identify how the outcome of enabling economic growth in northern Australia contributes to ecologically sustainable development. NAIF achieves this outcome by facilitating private sector investment in economic infrastructure through the provision of concessional financing delivered through the State and Territory Governments.
NAIF’s activities accord with ESD principles through NAIF applying its Environmental and Social Review of Transactions Policy (ESR Policy) and as outlined in the Environmental Footprint section below. NAIF furthers the principles of ESD through encouraging private sector investment in Northern Australian economic infrastructure projects which have been assessed by NAIF in accordance with its ESR Policy. The environmental and social impacts of Investment Proposals are assessed through environmental and social due diligence on each project. For each project funded by NAIF, the requirement for environmental and social due diligence has been satisfied prior to funding.
Environmental and Social Review of Transactions Policy
NAIF’s current ESR Policy, available on the NAIF website, is consistent with the Commonwealth Government’s expectations outlined in section 17(1) of the Investment Mandate. NAIF has regard to best practice government governance principles, and Australian best practice corporate governance for commercial lenders when performing its functions, including developing and annually reviewing policies with regard to environmental, social and governance issues. The ESR Policy has been assessed by independent experts as being consistent with best practice and is subject to regular ongoing review.
In FY19-20 NAIF operated from four office locations:
- a head office in Cairns, Queensland;
- in Sydney, New South Wales, where NAIF has a service level agreement (SLA) with Export Finance Australia;
- Brisbane, Queensland where NAIF accesses two desks through DISER; and
- Perth, Western Australia where NAIF accesses one desk through the Export Finance Australia agreement with Austrade.
Environmental Performance Reporting
Steps taken to reduce effect
Energy efficiency and emissions reduction
- Open plan offices and central air conditioning.
- Central printing facilities, allowing for fewer devices (which have energy saving mode when not in use).
- Use of technology for work from home, interstate meetings and training.
- After hours lighting and air conditioning.
- As at 30 June 2020, 35 per cent of the Sydney office energy is Green Power.
Waste and water
- Paper generally from Australian Forestry Standard Certified production.
- Employees have portable devices including phones and computers.
- ‘Follow me’ printing system is installed to reduce paper consumption, with default printing set to double sided, black and white.
- Staff encouraged to limit printing.
- Recycling of waste paper and rubbish.
- Central bin facilities only, no personal bins to encourage low waste production
- Electronic distribution of papers and briefings to Board Directors.
Refer to Export Finance Australia Annual Report FY19-20 for further details regarding Sydney office efficiencies and DIIS Annual Report FY19-20 and Supplementary Environmental Report for further details on Brisbane office efficiencies and the Austrade Annual Report FY19-20 for further details on their office efficiencies.