Environment and sustainability
Our aim is to build a network that uses minimal energy and has a low impact on the environment.
We have robust processes in place that continuously improve our environmental performance and commitment to the Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) principles within our Health, Safety and Environment Policy.
Energy and emissions
Energy and carbon emissions are an important environmental issue as we increasingly roll out and connect more premises to the nbn™ broadband access network.
We support our strategic imperatives by implementing projects that lower our, and our end users’ energy consumption and carbon impact.
We initiated the following projects to support our energy and carbon objectives:
- Adopting higher temperature points in our aggregation node sites to reduce energy consumption;
- Building capability to turn off idle equipment at node sites;
- Incorporating energy efficient requirements into FTTC equipment sourcing; and
- Sourcing more energy efficient video wall screens for our National Operations Centre.
Climate change resilience
We published Design Standards for the sighting of FTTN cabinets to better manage the risks related to bushfires, floods and noise, as well as impacts to vegetation, soil and areas of heritage significance.
A range of climate change mitigation measures have also been adopted, including efficiency projects and renewable energy generation at satellite earth stations and TAND sites. 2,571 panels – each with a capacity of 99kWh – have been installed.
We continue to rollout waste and recycling bins nationally – recently adding the waste streams of sharps and batteries, and standardised signage to improve recycling rates.
Our employees are increasingly interested in how to work and think sustainably. To support this, we created the Environmentally Connected awareness campaign; ‘Recycle, print less and switch off’. During the campaign more than 1,100 employees completed voluntary environment training, supporting our strategic imperative to make nbn a great place to work.
The construction of Satellite Earth Stations, and Aggregation Nodes and Depots integrated many ‘green building’ energy, water and materials initiatives – this included the installation of solar power systems to reduce our carbon footprint.
Environmental risk and compliance
We have completed a number of projects to proactively manage our environmental risks, including:
- Providing field employees with environmental awareness training and ensuring this content is available to delivery partners; and
- Publishing an Environment Handbook that enables our staff to monitor and comply with our environment requirements in the field.
Ecologically sustainable development
We have an ongoing commitment to ecological sustainable development principles as articulated in our HSE Policy, and embedded into the business activities through our management systems and standards.
This has been most recently demonstrated by the following principles:
- Integration and Intergenerational Principle – Continuing to build out the nbn™ access network in conjunction with our phone or internet providers which aims to supply fast, reliable and affordable products to Australians. The network will be an enabler of a low carbon digital future that will benefit the health, education and wealth of Australians by increasing connectivity and resource efficiency.
- Precautionary Principle – Recycling decommissioned network equipment, for example; modems and backup batteries – so that precious metals are recovered and hazardous materials are diverted from landfill.
- Intergenerational Principle – Continuing to embed environment principles and minimum standards into our procurement processes – these relate to energy efficiency, hazardous materials, the United Nations Global Compact and certified environment management systems.
- Biodiversity principle – Preparing Planning Assessment Reports (PARs) for all major construction works to identify areas of environmental significance – PARs help ensure compliance with the EPBC Act. and securing statutory permits. PARs also help ensure that designs reflect issued conditions or environmental constraints before construction commences.
- Valuation Principle – Developing energy and carbon modelling to support our business planning and decision making.