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.
In 2009–10, 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 Performance 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, 67 percent 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 AEC's energy usage for tenant light and power in 2009–10 was 7 192 megajoules per person. This is within the target of less than 7 500 megajoules per person per annum for tenant light and power set for 2011–12 in the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations Policy.
The AEC is working with the Department of Finance and Deregulation to plan and prepare a detailed business case for the refurbishment of the building that houses the AEC's national office, which will address the capacity of the building to achieve current building and energy efficiency standards.
The AEC is working with the contracted property services provider for its other properties to develop and implement strategies to reduce energy consumption in divisional and state offices.