At BankSA we're committed to reducing the environmental footprint of our operations and helping our staff reduce theirs.
The average Australian worker uses roughly 10,000 sheets of paper a year. That’s the equivalent of pulping one full-grown tree. What’s more, nearly nine out of every ten sheets of office paper used in Australia go directly to landfill.
Paper represents one of BankSA’s largest environmental impacts. That’s why we make sure the paper we buy comes from forests that are managed sustainably and from mills that have an industry-recognised accreditation such as ISO 14001. Where possible, we buy Australian-made paper. And we’re constantly on the lookout for ways to reduce how much we use.
For instance we’ve given customers the opportunity to choose electronic over paper bank statements. Introducing eStatements in 2009/2010 has been part of our agenda to make it easier for our customers to do business – and a good example of how we’re embedding sustainability into our operations.
Lighting accounts for more than 20% of greenhouse emissions from commercial buildings. This figure could be reduced by as much as 70% through simple measures. That’s why we’ve introduced a range of energy saving initiatives such as lighting assessments, recommissioning and/or repairing existing lighting controls and installing timer delay switches.
BankSA branches turn off non-essential lights every night. Work is under way on a number of other projects to further reduce our energy use.
Changing staff behaviour
On a weight-for-weight basis, computers are more environmentally damaging than cars. By leaving a computer on all day, every day for a year, you use nearly 1,000 kilowatts of electricity and contribute over one tonne of carbon to the atmosphere.
While these measures are helpful, the best way for BankSA to reduce energy in this regard is to ensure our staff log-off their computers and turn off their monitors when they leave the office for the day, or for an extended period.
Participating in Earth Hour
For 60 minutes at 8.30pm local time on one day of the year BankSA participates in Earth Hour. This is a global movement that aims to reach one billion people in 1,000 cities around the world and get them to act on climate change. Last year BankSA switched off lights at several sites during Earth Hour. Key branches in capital cities participated, with BankSA turning off on-floor lights and sky signage in all corporate offices across Australia. For more information visit www.earthhour.org.
Recycling and waste
We are rolling out a recycling and integrated waste management program at nine of the larger BankSA office sites.
Paper: Waste office paper is deposited in recycling boxes, supplied to all our staff through our stationery ordering system. They can also buy reusable coffee cups instead of disposable cups that often can't be recycled, at all BankSA cafeterias across the country.
Ink cartridges and toners: We’re a member of the Cartridges 4 PlanetArk program. Our staff deposit used ink cartridges and toners in specially marked Cartridges 4 PlanetArk recycling boxes located near printers and photocopiers.
Tips for home
Helping the environment starts at home. There are many easy everyday actions you can do to reduce your environmental footprint.