Thursday, June 4, 2009

World Environment Day: DIAC Secretary Andrew Metcalife will plant a tree

World Environment Day: DIAC Secretary Andrew Metcalife will plant a tree

Melbourne/Australia/June 5, 2009. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will celebrate World Environment Day on June 5 by launching the department’s National Environment Policy.

To mark the occasion, DIAC Secretary Andrew Metcalfe will plant a tree at the department’s national office at Belconnen, Canberra.

"The department’s National Environmental Policy is a mark of our commitment to reducing the impact of the department’s operational activities on the environment,” Mr Metcalfe said.

“The policy recognises that all activities, products and services can affect the environment. Through some very simple measures staff can reduce our environmental footprint – and at the same time lessen our operating costs.

“Turning off lights and unused electrical equipment – and making sure you are aware of how the after-hours air-conditioning system works – won’t affect your comfort or productivity, but can make a difference.”

DIAC tracks consistently below the energy targets set by the government and recorded a 1.5 per cent reduction in energy use in 2007-08, despite some significant operational demands and changes.

The department introduced a comprehensive waste management system in 2001 and now manages 52 tonnes of mixed recyclables, 85 tonnes of organic waste and 15 tonnes of cardboard annually.

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General assembly in 1972 to mark the opening of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment.

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is Your Planet Needs You – UNite to Combat Climate Change. A different United Nations member state plays host to World Environment Day each year. Australia was the host in 2000; this year, it is Mexico.

“To highlight the launch of the department’s National Environment Policy, we will plant a Eucalyptus melliodora or Yellow Box tree in the forecourt at the national office in Canberra,” Mr Metcalfe said.

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