2011-12 Annual Report - Appendix 4: Ecologically sustainable development

Appendix 4 - Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

The object of the ARPANS Act is to protect the health and safety of people and to protect the environment from the harmful effects of radiation. In accordance with the Act, ARPANSA takes into account the radiological impact on the environment in assessing licence applications from Commonwealth entities and their contractors.

The agency supports and promotes practices that can improve energy management and environmental practices within both the Sydney and Melbourne offices. ARPANSA has in place an Environment Policy and is committed to:

  • complying with relevant Commonwealth and state environment legislation and with the Australian Government's environmental policies and initiatives
  • implementing a continually improving standard of environmental performance and provide an environmentally sound workplace
  • striving to develop an environmentally responsible culture across the agency by providing appropriate resources and training to build awareness and support initiatives
  • integrating environmental, social and economic considerations in its decision making including decisions on purchasing, in contracting for goods and services and in any building work it undertakes
  • encouraging openness, transparency and improved accountability by reporting its environmental management annual reports and engaging with the community
  • implementing and maintaining an Environmental Management System aligned with the ISO 14001 Standard.

ARPANSA commenced stage two of a three stage building renovation project for the Melbourne facility on 23 January 2011. This project achieved Practical Completion on 26 April 2012 and not only delivered a more efficient workspace but also facilitated the removal of approximately 75 square meters of asbestos skylight and saw the replacement of 18 asbestos fire-doors. New electrical switchboards were installed to improve staff safety. Motion sensor and dimmable fluorescent lighting was also installed to reduce unnecessary power usage. All mechanical services including heating and cooling ducts were reconfigured to ensure best environmental efficiencies are achieved. Planning for stage three works has commenced however construction cannot be commenced until funding for that stage is finalised.