The AEC strives to use natural resources efficiently, manage waste, and reduce energy consumption. The AEC provides an annual report on its environmental performance in accordance with s. 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The AEC is responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums and for maintaining the Commonwealth electoral roll. The AEC's business activities are not directly linked to the principles of environmentally sustainable development (ESD), as these activities do not impact on matters of national environmental significance as outlined under the EPBC Act. No legislation is administered by the AEC in relation to the EPBC Act.
The AEC's outcomes do not have a relationship with ESD objectives.
The AEC's activities do not impact on matters of national environmental significance. However, the AEC endeavours to use fully recyclable or at least partially recyclable products wherever possible: the cardboard products used for polling places materials are one example. To reduce office paper consumption, all AEC printers have a default setting of double-sided printing. Environmental impacts are also considered in the design and layout of all new or upgraded accommodation.
2008–09, the AEC minimised the effect of its operations on the environment by:
The AEC's strategies comply with the recommendations of the Australian National Audit Office Audit Report No. 47 of 1998–99, the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy issued by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, and the Fleet Monitoring Body guidelines in relation to the use of ethanol.
Throughout the year, 50 per cent of the AEC's business vehicle fleet met or exceeded the recommended Green Vehicle Guide rating of 10.5 or better. The vehicles that did not meet the Green Vehicle Guide target were specific goods-carrying vehicles.
The energy usage for tenant light and power for 2007–08 in the AEC's national office was approximately 10 875 megajoules (MJ) per person. This represents an increase from usage in 2006–07 of 9 149 MJ per person and corresponds with a small decrease in the number of staff in the National Office.
This energy consumption is above the target of less than 7500 MJ per person per annum for tenant light and power set for 2011–12 in the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy, issued by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
The AEC is working with the owner of the building, the Department of Finance and Deregulation, to plan and prepare a detailed business case for the refurbishment of the building, which will address the capacity of the building to achieve current building and energy efficiency standards.
The AEC is working with its contracted property services provider for its other properties to develop and implement strategies to reduce energy consumption in divisional and state offices.