30 Apr Victorian Government green performance under the spotlight
The Victorian State Government’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability has published a report following a strategic audit of the implementation of Environmental Management Systems within Government Departments, Sustainability Victoria and the Victorian Environmental Protection Authority for 2013/14. The results of the annual strategic audit are required to be reported in accordance with the Victorian State Government’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Act 2003.
In her first report, Commissioner Dr Gillian Sparkes noted that while performance in some areas showed improvement over the last five years to 30 June 2014, the performance in some other areas had levelled out and declined in others. Total office based water use increased by 4%, total energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for the period 2013/14 increased by 7%, and total air travel increased by 23%. The amount of waste produced decreased by 2%, and the total number of reams of paper decreased by 8%. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions was attributed to increases in building energy use and vehicle emissions, and the increase in energy use was attributed to the inclusion of additional building assets in the data compared to the previous audit period.
In concluding her report, Commissioner Sparkes’ top 5 messages noted that approximately 70% of the increase in annual greenhouse gas emissions was associated with building energy use and this therefore presented an opportunity to focus future efforts. She also identified an opportunity for a win-win with respect to the Government sector purchasing products and services that offer value for money and the lowest environmental impact.