Ausgrid is committed to protecting the environment and continuously striving to minimise the environmental impact of its activities. It ensures its people have the skills, knowledge and resources to meet its commitments to protect or improve the environment in which it operates and help preserve it for future generations.
Ausgrid aims to foster a culture of innovation and sustainability and be a leader in environmental responsibility. In particular, it is our intent to lead by example when it comes to climate change. That means more than just minimising the carbon emissions from our operations. It also means maximising the opportunity we have to lead on efforts to establish responsible policies and programs to address global climate change.
Ausgrid has committed to three key objectives with respect to environmental sustainability:
1. Reduce our energy use and carbon emissions
We we will achieve a level of energy use and carbon emissions that is below the industry norm.
We have a comprehensive knowledge of our carbon emission profile that began with foundation membership of Greenhouse Challenge, Greenhouse Challenge Plus and now the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System (NGERS).
We have established quantitative targets for our building energy use and vehicle carbon emission performance.
We are undertaking a wide range of energy use and carbon emission reduction initiatives, including:
- purchasing 100% accredited GreenPower for electricity use in our buildings,
- completing energy audits of our major buildings and implementing energy savings actions,
- annual benchmarking our office building energy performance using the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS),
- achieving 6 star Green Star status for the design of our apprentice training centre,
- introducing a green fleet policy and selection guide to preference carbon efficient vehicles,
- implementing eco-driver training, and
- improving the management of SF6 in our network equipment.
2. Minimise our environmental impacts
We will diligently manage all environmental impacts of our business operations at industry best practice levels and actively seek to minimise our environmental impacts where possible and reasonable.
Ausgrid’s environmental impacts and regulatory compliance are well managed through an ISO14001 certified Environmental Management System which includes an Environmental Scorecard and Improvement Plan.
We are undertaking a wide range of environmental improvement initiatives, including:
- upgrading waste & recycling facilities, washbays, oil storage facilities, material bays and oil containment tanks,
- annual benchmarking our office building water performance using the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS),
- completing water and waste audits and implementing improvement actions,
- implementing our Waste Reduction and Purchasing Plan (WRAPP),
- introducing improved environmental procedures and associated training programs,
- implementing our sustainable supply chain management action plan,
- developing an environmental Geographic Information System (GIS), and
- removing all pure PCBs from our network.
3. Actively contribute to climate change solutions
We will assist our customers to enable them to reduce carbon emissions from their use of the energy we deliver, and maintain a constructive dialog with policy makers, regulators and influence groups in the energy industry and related areas that enables us to provide useful input to decision making.
Ausgrid has a long history of providing practical and effective support for our customers through a range of programs, rebates and energy efficiency advice. In 2008, we opened our Energy Efficiency Centre, focussed on educating those who influence our customers, including lighting professionals, bilingual educators, eco-smart electricians and local council sustainability officers.
We are undertaking a wide range of activities to support our community and customers, including:
- providing information and efficiency programs to the community,
- establishing the Energy Efficiency Centre in 2008 to provide a range of seminars and workshops for community education,
- providing energy consumption analysis and expertise to support energy efficiency programs implemented by NGO’s, research bodies, local, state and federal government, and
- engaging with state and federal governments to help policy makers make better decisions e.g. solar water heating analysis for Commonwealth Government, BASIX review for NSW Dept of Planning.