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Annual Report 2017 - 2018

Environmental responsibility

Legal Aid NSW is committed to taking steps towards reducing paper usage and increasing green score targets through a number of sustainability initiatives.

This year saw the introduction of the Legal Aid NSW Green Committee. The role of the Green Committee is to implement low cost, high impact ways to make Legal Aid NSW more environmentally sustainable. The Green Committee implemented a number of initiatives during the year including an organisation-wide stationary rescue leading up to World environment Day on 5 June 2018, Plastic Free July promotions and the introduction of Keep-Cups. The Committee meets quarterly at the Sydney Central office.

The Green team

The Legal Aid NSW Green Committee

The Committee also organised an environmental audit for the Central Sydney office. The audit was conducted by the UNSW Sydney Sustainability Centre. The audit looked at waste, water and energy use. The audit revealed areas where Central Sydney office already has good practices and flagged many areas where we can improve our ecological footprint.

The report recommended:

  • 4-5 star rated fridges and implementation of a ‘switch off’ policy for computers at the end of the work day.
  • secure printing functions be installed on printers to prevent jobs being printed multiple times or being misplaced or forgotten, and signage to be mindful of what is printed and minimise wastage.
  • clear communication and monitored paper purchasing to ensure practice aligns with the stated goal.

As shown in the following table, we exceeded, often substantially, the environmental targets set by the NSW Government, including those for use of green paper, green electricity and green fleet.

Reducing our environmental footprint—summary table 2017–2018

GoalTargetAchievement
Reduce electricity consumption Install energy efficient lights in our premises Relocated Penrith and Parramatta Offices into new energy efficient buildings incorporating new energy efficient lighting.
Increase use of green paper purchasing NSW Govt Target: Minimum 85% of copy paper to contain recycled content by 2014 A new contract for PECF Certified paper was negotiated which contributed to the target. A trial of 100% recycled paper is being undertaken by finance and facilities.
Reduce paper purchasing Target of 10% reduction in paper purchasing per annum was introduced in 2009–2010 A reduction of 5% from 2017–2018 in paper usage was achieved.
Green electricity purchasing NSW Govt Target 6% Green Electricity New contract negotiated with Origin Energy for 2018/19 mandating a minimum of 6% Green Electricity.
E10 fuel NSW Govt require mandatory purchasing of E10 or regular unleaded for fleet cars We only allow purchasing of these fuels on the fleet fuel cards.
Green Fleet Meet NSW Govt minimum fuel efficiency standards for new light vehicles by July 2017. We only lease vehicles from the NSW Govt Pre Qualification Scheme, this ensures only approved vehicles are selected and we meet the fuel efficiency standards.