We remain committed to reducing our environmental impact. We are reviewing our Environmental and Sustainability Policy to consider processes and measures to further reduce our carbon footprint, including raising staff awareness of environmental issues.

This year we substantially reduced:

  • total energy consumption (by 8.7%) with a resulting 6.6% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, despite an increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) staff
  • water consumption (by 22% in real terms, or by 12% if disregarding a water leak in 2012–13), despite an increase in FTE staff
  • energy consumption by 16.8% per FTE and by 6.5% per square metre of office space
  • air travel for the third consecutive year (by 18.7% compared to 2012–13, and by 47.39% compared to 2010–11).

Greenhouse gas emissions

The emissions reported in the table below have been taken from subsequent sections of the report and collated here in order to define and summarise our total greenhouse gas emissions footprint.

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use 2,474 2,650
Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with vehicle fleet (t CO2 e) 56.89 69.86
Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel (t CO2 e) 33.79 42.72
Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste (t CO2 e) 30.22 24.30
Total greenhouse gas emissions per FTE (t CO2 e) 4.3 5.0
Total greenhouse gas emissions associated with all operations (t CO2 e) 2,598 2,787

Targets

Future targets are under review.

Explanatory note

Where possible, emissions are based on actual data provided by the energy suppliers. Otherwise, emissions are calculated using conversion factors sourced from Sustainability Victoria.

Energy

Following the closure of one office in December 2013, we now use electricity in 17 office locations across Victoria. Gas is supplied to two sites only.

The data below has been collected through energy billing information using Sustainability Victoria's Utility Tracker software program. The information represents 100% of sites and 100% of staff.

Where available the data is inclusive of energy consumption resulting from base building operations.

Total energy usage segmented by primary source (MJ)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Electricity 7,347,711 7,723,207
GreenPower 1,357,631 1,501,876
Natural gas 605,515 974,410
Total 9,310,857 10,199,493

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use, segmented by primary source and offsets (t CO2 e)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Electricity 2,441 2,596
GreenPower 0 0
Natural gas 34 54
Total 2,474 2,650

Percentage of electricity purchased as a percentage of GreenPower

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Electricity 16% 16%

Units of energy used per FTE (MJ/FTE)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Electricity 12,117 13,978
GreenPower 2,239 2,722
Natural gas 999 1,764
Total 15,355 18,460

Units of energy used per unit of office area (MJ/m2)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Electricity 441 453
GreenPower 81 88
Natural gas 36 57
Total 559 598

Targets

Future targets are under review.

Actions undertaken

We refitted two of our offices with more energy-efficient light fixtures and fittings.

Explanatory notes

While Victoria Legal Aid has purchasing arrangements for green electricity, tenancy-related base building electricity lowers our overall GreenPower percentage. Referencing solely Victoria Legal Aid operational data, we achieved 21% green energy consumption.

Waste

The waste generated by processes within Victoria Legal Aid is divided into two classes – landfill and recycled. The data presented below is based on a one-day physical waste audit for landfill and commingled waste, and data from the service provider for paper recycling (secure destruction). While it only captures 56% of our FTE staff, all Victoria Legal Aid offices recycle their waste (65% have separate waste paper collection and 82% have commingled waste collection).

Total units of waste disposed of by destination (kg)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Landfill 25,181 20,247
Recycled 38,502 34,794

Units of waste disposed of per FTE by destination (kg/FTE)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Landfill 41 35
Recycled 64 61

Recycling rate (% of total waste by kg)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Recycled 60% 63%

Greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste disposal (t CO2 e)

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Landfill 30 24

Targets

Future targets are under review.

Actions undertaken

We introduced separate waste disposal for commingled recycling in addition to paper recycling in our Melbourne CBD locations.

Paper use

The values for paper consumption given in the table below were provided by our stationery supplier.  They include both white and coloured copy paper (both A4 and A3).

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Total units of copy paper used (reams) 12,763 13,287
Units of copy paper used per FTE (reams/FTE) 21 23.2
Percentage of 75–100% recycled content copy paper purchased 9% 7%
Percentage of 50–75% recycled content copy paper purchased 86% 88%
Percentage of 0–49% recycled content copy paper purchased 5% 5%

Targets

Future targets are under review.

Explanatory notes

Data for 2012–13 was reported exclusive of coloured and A3-size paper. The data has been recalculated and now includes both white and coloured copy paper (both A3 and A4).

Water

The values for our water consumption were obtained through billing information captured through Sustainability Victoria's Utility Tracker. These results represent 98% of our employees and 94% of our office sites. Where available, the figures are inclusive of water consumption for shared tenancy space.

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Total units of metered water consumed by usage types (kilolitres) 4,383 5,635 
Units of metered water consumed in offices per FTE (kilolitre/FTE) 7.43 10.45 
Units of metered water consumed in offices per unit of office area (kilolitres/m2) 272.79 343.61

Targets

Future targets are under review.

Explanatory notes

The data reported for 2012–13 contained a keying error. The amended data is provided in the table above for comparison.

Note also that the data for 2012–13 includes one location with a substantial water leak for half the reporting period. To allow proper comparison of consumption against last year, the estimated consumption in 2012–13 without the leaked water is: 4,985 KL consumption; 9.24 KL/FTE; and 303.96 KL/m2.

Transport

The following data was obtained through fuel card data, mileage reports and information supplied by our hire car agency. It covers our entire fleet, which comprises 17 vehicles: 15 are operational pool vehicles and two are executive vehicles. The operational fleet consists of 15 hybrid and two six-cylinder vehicles.

The data also includes values for hybrid hire cars, which were used as pool cars when our vehicles were unavailable.

Total energy consumption by vehicles (MJ)

Vehicle 2013–14 2012–13
6 Cylinder 125,601 192,739
4 Cylinder 47,615
Hybrid 663,848 692,341
Total 790,449 932,695

Total vehicle travel associated with entity operations (km)

Vehicle 2013–14 2012–13
6 Cylinder 35,501 53,821
4 Cylinder 10,191
Hybrid 344,427 346,662
Total 379,928 410,674

Total greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fleet (t CO2-e)

Vehicle 2013–14 2012–13
6 Cylinder 9 14
4 Cylinder 4
Hybrid 50 52
Total 59 70

Greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle fleet per 1000 km travelled (t CO2-e)

Vehicle 2013–14 2012–13
6 Cylinder 0.2650 0.2682
4 Cylinder 0.3500
Hybrid 0.1446 0.1496
Total 0.1558 0.1701

Flights

Flights 2013–14 2012–13
Total distance travelled by aeroplane (km) 107,562 132,309

Targets

Future targets are under review.

Explanatory notes

Air travel data is based on bookings paid for through our financial database. The distance travelled is based on an online flight distance calculator.

Procurement

Indicator 2013–14 2012–13
Percentage ‘Earth Saver’ products purchased 36% 54%

Targets

Future targets are under review.

Explanatory notes

The decrease in percentage of ‘Earth Saver’ products purchased in comparison with last year is due to a change in reporting method. Last year our supplier’s calculations were based on consumption by item, whereas this year they are based on expenditure.