NSW Government organisations are working hard to improve the sustainability performance in their offices and public facilities.
Iconic sites are showcasing sustainability initiatives to their visitors every day:
- the solar roof at Parliament House generates enough electricity to power the lighting in both the upper and lower houses.
- an upgrade to the waste water recycling system at Taronga Zoo, which receives run off from the animal enclosures, will result in up to 100 mega-litres (40 Olympic sized swimming pools) of water being reclaimed annually
- Sydney Opera House has launched an Environmental Sustainability Plan, which includes targets to achieve a 15 per cent reduction in electricity and to reuse or recycle 70 per cent of the site's water, while inspiring visitors in environmental initiatives
- Powerhouse Museum has received funding from the Public Facilities Program to explore cogeneration opportunities to reduce energy costs and emissions.
Anzac Memorial Hospital, Katoomba – expecting to reduce their carbon footprint by 30-40 per cent
Hospitals are very resource intensive to run. Several high water and energy using health facilities across the state have developed Water and Energy Savings Action Plans.
The actions identified are being implemented and returning good results. Anzac Memorial Hospital, Katoomba has already completed extensive works including lighting upgrades, solar panel installation, new boilers and cogeneration. They are expecting to reduce their carbon footprint by 30 – 40 per cent annually.
Use of the pulpmaster organic waste disposal system at Loftus TAFE has collected 114 tonnes of waste
TAFEs are leading the way for sustainable educational facilities, with the support of funding through the Public Facilities Program.
Projects range from new electrical fittings and water efficiency upgrades to renewable energy generation and solar hot water systems.
- Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE was recently recognised as a Sustainability Advantage Silver Partner for demonstrating significant environmental achievement. More information on initiatives at the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE can be found on their website.
- Loftus TAFE has installed a pulpmaster unit for disposal of the large quantities of kitchen waste generated in their hospitality courses. This unit collects all organic waste in a tank which is emptied periodically and used to generate energy.
Between September 2007 and May 2009, 114 tonnes of organic waste was recycled, saving greenhouse gases equivalent to removing 78 cars from the road permanently and $22,000 in waste disposal fees and plastic garbage bags costs.
Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water NSW
DECCW employees saved energy by avoiding the lifts – it took only 3 weeks for the first team to reach the height of Everest by stairs
The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) has achieved energy, water and waste efficiency through infrastructure upgrades to offices and National Parks facilities and is the first Government agency to be recognised as a Sustainability Advantage Bronze Partner.
Staff engagement has been a focus of the program with staff showing their support for sustainability by organising events or challenges with their colleagues. Events and challenges organised include:
- the 'Mount Everest Challenge' (use of the stairs to avoid lift use)
- Ride to Work day
- 'ave a go ya mug' (using mugs instead of disposable cups from the café).
More information about Public Facilities Programs
To find out more about the Public Facilities Programs under the NSW Climate Change Fund visit environment.nsw.gov.au/grants/