Waste Reduction and Purchasing Policy
Environmentally responsible business practice
The NSW Government’s Waste Reduction and Purchasing Policy (WRAPP) requires all state government agencies and state-owned corporations to develop and implement a WRAPP plan to reduce waste in four areas:
- paper products
- office equipment and components
- vegetation material
- construction and demolition material.
It also requires that priority be given to purchasing materials with recycled content where they are cost and performance competitive. Essential Energy’s WRAPP plan sets out information on strategies to reduce waste, increase purchases of recycled content products and provides baseline and performance data to report our progress in this area.
Essential Energy is leading by example through sound environmentally responsible business practice. Here are some of the initiatives implemented or continuing during the year:
- Built 14 new transformer storage sites to appropriately manage our responsibilities around decommissioned transformers
- Implemented the TotalSAFE Waste Module: An environmental reporting tool allowing waste removal and disposal data to be recorded in one location – enhancing data accuracy and improved waste tracking
- Defaulting all printers to double-sided printing and employee ‘reduce your use’ awareness campaigns, have contributed to a significant reduction in the amount of A4 paper purchased during the year – 2,801 reams less than the 2010–2011 reporting period
- Placement of paper recycling boxes at every office desk, central collection point for out of warranty computer equipment, and access to recycling bins for other waste materials, such as printer and photocopier cartridges, has ensured that Essential Energy continues to recycle 100 per cent of direct office waste generated
- Development of an interactive Waste Management Tool – housed on Essential Energy’s internal intranet, Essentialnet. The tool is designed to assist employees to identify and classify waste and provide information on how and where to safely dispose of it
- Roll out of recycling/reuse bins for each waste classification type at all Essential Energy depots. This includes bins for office paper, cardboard, scrap metal, glass, plastic bottles, tin cans, bare conductors, steel from aluminium and streetlights and used porcelain insulators
- Recycling and reuse of materials, such as condemned power poles and streetlight lamps. We are currently reviewing our processes for the recycling of batteries and porcelain insulators
- The coming year will see the formation of a cross-divisional environmental alliance to drive consistent decision making in the management of our environmental impact across our operations and the development of sustainable solutions.