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POL-G-021, Version 1.2, 7 May 2012

1. Title

Environmental management policy

2. Introduction

The National Museum of Australia (the Museum) is a major cultural institution charged with researching, collecting, preserving and exhibiting historical material of the Australian nation. The Museum focuses on the three interrelated areas of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture, Australia’s history and society since European settlement in 1788 and the interaction of people with the environment.

Established in 1980, the Museum is a publicly funded institution governed as a statutory authority in the Commonwealth Arts portfolio. The Museum’s building on Acton Peninsula, Canberra opened in March 2001.

3. Scope

3.1 Description

This policy highlights the Museum’s commitment to minimising the environmental impact of its operations.

3.2 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out the varying roles played by staff and contractors in minimising the Museum’s impact on the environment.

3.3 Rationale

The Commonwealth Government, through its energy policy, is committed to improving the energy efficiency of Government operations, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, hence reducing the environmental impact of Government operations. All Commonwealth departments and budget funded agencies are required to comply with this energy policy.

To assist in complying with these requirements, the Museum has developed an environmental management system (EMS) of which this policy statement is a component.

4. Principles and guidelines

4.1 The Museum is committed to pursuing ecologically sound practices through the continual improvement of its environmental performance. This will be done through the implementation of measures designed to minimise pollution and environmental impact from our operations.

4.2 All employees should actively put into practice the principles set out in detail in the relevant standard operating procedures.

4.3 The Museum supports and promotes environmentally responsible practices, and in all of its functions and operations, will endeavour to:

a) operate within the principles of ecologically sustainable development

b) develop and implement measures and adopt technology to prevent and minimise pollution, and reduce waste, energy and natural resource use

c) comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations, and will require compliance by contractors and suppliers

d) manage systematically its activities to achieve and promote continual improvement, by setting environmental objectives and targets and assessing our achievements.

4.4 To assist all Museum employees and contractors to minimise the impact on the environment from their work, the Museum is committed to the ongoing implementation and promotion of an environmental management system (EMS) that meets the requirements of the Australian Standard ANZS ISO 14001:2004 – Environmental Management Systems. The EMS has been specifically designed to help the Museum reduce impact on the environment through continuous improvement of its environmental management practices. The EMS is primarily a web-based collection of procedures and plans to assist all employees to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into their work.

4.5 The Museum will report on its environmental performance in the Museum’s annual report. It will also annually review environmental management programs and assess whether the objectives and targets are being met and the desired outcomes are being achieved. Some of the targets and objectives include:

a) reducing water consumption

b) reducing energy consumption (gas and electricity)

c) increasing the proportion of non-virgin paper used in office machines and publications

d) increasing waste recycling.

5. Definition of terms

Ecologically sustainable development

The process of preventing and reversing the adverse impacts of economic and social activities on the ecosystem, while continuing to allow the sustainable, equitable development of societies.

Environmental management system (EMS)

The collection of information and documents designed to assist all employees to minimise the impact on the environment from their Museum work.

6. Definition of responsibilities

Chief Operating Officer

Oversees environmental management in the Museum.

Business unit managers

Ensure that they and their staff incorporate the guidelines set out in the standard operating procedures into their work wherever relevant.

Assist in the dissemination of this policy and environmental management related information to their employees.

Museum employees and volunteers

Incorporate the guidelines set out in the standard operating procedures into their work wherever appropriate.

Museum Consultative Forum (MCF)

Acts as a forum for the Executive Management team to consult on the implementation of this policy.

Coordinator Environmental Management

Promotes ongoing environmental management and the monitoring of objectives and targets.

Updates the environmental management system when required.

Primary on-site contractors

Work in accordance with the guidelines set out in the standard operating procedures.

Report six-monthly on relevant objectives and targets.

All contractors

Work in accordance with the guidelines set out in the standard operating procedures.

7. References

ANZS ISO 14001:2004 – Environmental Management Systems.

Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO), Commonwealth of Australia, September 2006.

8. Implementation

8.1 Environmental management system (EMS)

8.1.1 This policy will be implemented through the intranet-based Environmental Management System (EMS) and promulgated to employees, volunteers and contractors via the intranet, internet and relevant awareness sessions.

8.1.2 The web-based EMS has been implemented to:

a) make information accessible to all employees and contractors

b) facilitate updating.

8.1.3 The EMS comprises:

a) the environmental management policy (this document)

b) the following standard operating procedures:

i. office energy conservation

ii. office waste

iii. packaging

iv. paper

v. purchasing

vi. publications

vii. environmental reporting

viii. government vehicles

ix. disposal of waste oils /chemicals

x. grease trap maintenance

xi. storage, use and disposal of liquid chemicals

xii. response to discharge of preserving agents

xiii. ozone depleting substances

xiv. asbestos

xv. medium density fibreboard (MDF)

c) the following management plans:

i. Energy Management Plan

ii. Waste Management Plan

iii. Water Management Plan

iv. Paper Management Plan

d) documents pertaining to the development and maintenance of the environmental management system.

8.2 Training and communication

8.2.1 Awareness training is available to all business unit managers.

8.2.2 The EMS can be readily accessed by all employees via the intranet.

8.2.3 Relevant information for contractors will be included in the contractor site book.

8.3 Coverage

This policy covers all Museum operations at Acton, Mitchell and Fyshwick.

8.4 Other related policies


8.5 Exclusions

There are no exclusions to this policy.

8.6 Superseded policies

This policy supersedes:

Former policy title

Version no.

Version date

Executive approval date

Environmental management


2 Aug 2005

1 Aug 2005

Environmental management


25 May 2009

16 Feb 2009

8.7 Monitoring and review

This policy will be reviewed in December 2013.






Version date

7 May 2012



Approval date

Updated policy approved by Executive 17 January 2012


03/1571; 09/266


Public and all staff


Environment, Environmental management

Responsible officer

Coordinator Environmental Management


Environmental management policy version 1.0 approved by Executive August 2005

Environmental management policy version1.1 approved by General Manager Operations May 2009

Review date

December 2013

Related documents

Environmental management standard operating procedures

Environmental management plans


National Museum of Australia
GPO Box 1901

Tel: (02) 6208 5000



Update approved by Executive 17 January 2011

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