Ecologically sustainable development
Under subsection 516A(3) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, CASA must report on its actions and operations during the financial year in accordance with subsection 516A(6) of that Act.
Under subsection 9A(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1988, CASA must regard the safety of air navigation as the most important consideration when exercising its powers and performing its functions. However, subject to this overriding safety obligation, CASA is also required by subsection 9A(2) to exercise its powers and perform its functions in a manner that ensures, as far as is practicable, that the environment is protected from:
- effects of the operation and use of aircraft
- effects associated with the operation and use of aircraft.
CASA has regard to section 9A in regulatory standards development and compliance activities, in accordance with the principles of section 3A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
CASA has developed an environmental management system (EMS) as defined under Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004. The EMS is a tool designed to improve the organisation’s environmental performance and reduce the environmental impact of CASA’s operations.
CASA’s environmental policy is a key element of the EMS. The policy formalises CASA’s commitment to environmental protection and provides a framework for achieving continuous improvement in environmental performance.
During 2008–09 CASA reviewed both its environmental policy and the EMS. The policy was adjusted to more clearly identify key strategies for improving CASA’s environmental performance. In addition, the new policy more clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of all CASA staff in relation to environmental management. The revised EMS sets out a list of key actions for 2009–10, including establishing benchmarks and setting new targets.
CASA is committed to achieving best practice in office management and general operations. CASA has drafted an energy management plan covering all its operations, which sets targets consistent with the Australian Government’s Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy. The key target is to reduce energy consumption on tenant light and power to 7,500 megajoules per person per annum and 400 megajoules per square metre per annum for central building services. In addition CASA has been working with the lessors of its Canberra and Brisbane offices to develop site-specific energy management plans in line with Green Lease Schedule requirements for Government Agencies as set out by the Department of the Environment and Water Resources and the Australian Government Solicitor. Green Lease Schedules contain mutual obligations for tenants and owners of office buildings to achieve efficiency targets, and compliance with this standard will see CASA achieve a 4.5-star National Australian Built Environment Rating System rating.
The recent review of the EMS included investigating ways to improve CASA’s performance in reducing waste that ends up in landfill. The review included a waste audit of CASA’s corporate headquarters in Canberra. CASA will take measures in 2009–10 to improve and expand its current waste reduction and recycling measures, including recycling waste paper, packaging materials, fluorescent lamps, general office waste, surplus and obsolete furniture and building fit-out waste.
In 2008–09 CASA was not involved in any actions likely to have a significant impact on matters of national environmental significance or on Commonwealth land.