ACER is committed to fostering an understanding of, and a responsibility for, the physical environment and consideration of environmental sustainability in all infrastructure and operations and functions. ACER sees environmental sustainability as maintaining and restoring natural assets, using resources more efficiently and reducing everyday environmental impact.

The ACER Sustainability Advisory Committee (ASAC) is chaired by the Facilities and Services Manager and comprised of senior management and elected staff. The ASAC provides advice on all matters pertaining to environmental sustainability at ACER.

ACER expects all members of staff and contractors to be aware of and act in accordance with the ACER environmental sustainability strategy.

Our vision

ACER’s vision for environmental sustainability fits within the core ACER values: 

  • Innovation: As an organisation, we will look for creative, flexible and bold ways in which we can enhance ACER’s environmental sustainability
  • Integrity: We will operate in an ethical, honest and trustworthy way in relation to environmental matters
  • Responsiveness: We will anticipate needs and requirements when it comes to environmental legislation, and aim to exceed the expectations of our stakeholders
  • Reflection and improvement: We will monitor progress towards environmental improvement through self-reflection, listening and learning from others
  • Individual fulfilment: The ACER community will be encouraged to participate in and contribute to practices, events and celebrations relating to sustainability.

Environmental policies and practice

  • Strengthening leadership: ACER aims to have environmental policies and practices that are led by management but equally driven by staff.
  • Integrating environmental sustainability into systems and policies: ACER aims to consider resource use at each stage of business practices and improve usage in existing systems.
  • Positively influencing strategic relationships: ACER aims to develop cooperative relationships with our supply chain and other key organisations to improve environmental performance.
  • Involving the ACER community: ACER aims to promote environmental awareness, encourage involvement in and celebrate environmental achievements with staff.
  • Monitoring progress towards improvement: ACER aims to establish performance indicators and continue to monitor progress towards achieving these.

Some of our achievements to date are:

  • Energy: ACER participated in the federal government’s Greenhouse Challenge from 2001 until the program’s closure in 2009. The program was designed to manage energy consumption and ensure businesses were taking action to lower their consumption levels. ACER continues to use methods (such as de-lamping and solar panel installation) to reduce energy usage.
  • ACER installed solar panels in Prospect Hill Road in 2018 and Railway Parade in 2020.
  • Paper: ACER uses 100% recycled copy paper in its Melbourne and interstate offices. ACER Press has moved increasingly to use paper stock that is wood-free offset, elemental chlorine free, from sustainable forests and processed in a mill with ISO14001 accreditation. ACER Press also uses printers who have either achieved ISO9000 or ISO14000 accreditation or are working towards these.
  • Water: Most of ACER’s water use is through general plumbing throughout ACER offices (bathroom and kitchens). To reduce our water use, ACER uses waterless urinal systems in its Melbourne and Sydney offices.
  • Recycling: Recycling bins are placed in key areas throughout ACER offices for recycling of paper, cardboard, glass and other recyclable materials. The Byteback program is used for recycling old computers, and there is the availability to recycle old mobile phones through the Aussie Recycling Program and Melbourne Zoo.​

ACER’s Sustainability and Advisory Committee is currently investigating additional Greenhouse Challenge carbon offsets in order to promote the move to carbon neutrality in regard to energy use and travel.