Switching off for a sustainable future

The Department of Human Services is joining over 180 countries and territories in the global movement, Earth Hour, to highlight the need for action on climate change.

We will be switching off our lights for an hour at over 400 sites across Australia on Saturday 24 March 2018 at 8:30pm, in a commitment to creating a more sustainable planet.

Sustainability Director Mick Dawes sees it as an exciting opportunity to promote and reduce the department’s carbon footprint.

“As a government department responsible for supporting public wellbeing, it makes sense that sustainability is a priority,” Mr Dawes said.

“Earth Hour is just one of the many ways we do this.

“Seven of our large office buildings have a certified 5.5 Energy Star Tenancy rating.

“This is an amazing achievement, as buildings with ratings of 5 and over signal ‘Australian Excellence’ in environmental performance.

“In terms of renewable energy, we have just reached 446 kW of installed photovoltaic solar generating power.”

WWF-Australia Climate and Earth Hour Engagement Manager, Kerri Major welcomed the department’s participation in WWF’s Earth Hour.

“By switching off the lights as a strong symbol of support, they will join over 180 countries and territories in the world’s biggest movement for climate change, biodiversity, and environmental protection,” Ms Major said.

“Government departments have a key role in putting sustainability on the agenda, not only in matters of public policy, but in their own operations as well.

“In short – let’s talk the talk and walk the walk, to protect our planet for future generations.”

The department’s buildings used 86.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2016-17, while our vehicles used almost 717,000 litres of fuel – the equivalent of 83,231 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions.

We are committed to supporting the broader government agenda to minimise our carbon footprint and have met targets in the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO) policy over the past several years.

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