Environmental performance reporting

Sustainability Report 2005-2006

Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007

Australian Antarctic Division Environmental Performance

Environmental management

EM1: Environmental management system (EMS) conformance

Goals 2005-06
Performance 2005-06 and trends

In 2005-06, an external audit of the EMS was undertaken and AAD achieved recertification to the revised ISO 14001:2004 standard.

Commentary

AAD is firmly committed to an environmentally responsible approach to all its activities in Australian Antarctic territories and Australia. AAD is the first national operator among Antarctic Treaty countries to implement a certified EMS to the international standard ISO 14001. The EMS is scoped to address all environmentally significant issues over which AAD has direct control or can be expected to control.

To ensure that the EMS remains applicable to AAD's activities and environmental aspirations, EMS audits are used to conduct rolling reviews of the EMS to determine whether the EMS has been properly implemented and maintained to conform to AAD’s objectives for environmental management. This rolling review is complemented by audits of particular areas or processes based on the environmental significance of the activity concerned. Environmental inspections and self-assessments of Antarctic stations supplement more formal EMS audits. Audit results are communicated to relevant staff for follow-up action.

AAD undertakes thorough environmental impact assessments on all its activities in Antarctica to ensure impacts on the Antarctic environment are minimised. Proposed activities, ranging from major building works through science activities to minor projects, are assessed for their potential environmental impact before they are allowed to proceed. AAD is also responsible for assessing the environmental impacts of proposed Antarctic activities of Australians operating outside the Australian Antarctic Programme (AAP), including commercial tourism operations and private expeditions. All new employees are inducted into environmental policy, environmental management and EMS, and there is a strong environmental component within the expedition training course.

Goals 2006-07