New policy raises bar for environmental practices

As part of its strong commitment to protecting the environment, the AAD is bringing together and strengthening its numerous environmental management processes under an environmental management system (EMS) which will be certified under the Australian-New Zealand Standard 14001.

The EMS addresses all of the environmentally significant issues arising from the AAD’s activities, wherever they may occur: in continental Australia, the Australian Antarctic Territory, the subantarctic region (Heard Island and Macquarie Island) and the Southern Ocean.

The first step towards a comprehensive EMS was an AAD environmental policy, which since its completion in December 2001 has been posted throughout the AAD’s Tasmanian sites, on its ships and in the Antarctic stations. It is also being provided to suppliers and contractors to help to ensure that they understand and comply with the AAD’s requirements. The policy can be found on the AAD's website. Questions and comments should be directed to

The policy is a commitment by the AAD to:

• comply with all applicable environmental laws, regulations and agreements, and require compliance by participants in Australia’s Antarctic program, by other Australian visitors to the Antarctic, and by our contractors and suppliers;

• encourage compliance with the environmental principles and agreements of the Antarctic Treaty System by other national operators, organisations and individuals in the Antarctic;

• develop and implement measures and technology to prevent or minimise pollution, waste and other human impacts on the Antarctic environment;

• develop and deliver environmental education, training and guidance for participants in the Australian Antarctic program, other visitors to the Antarctic, and the public;

• undertake and support research that further contributes to understanding the Antarctic environment and the effects of human activities upon it;

• systematically manage our activities to achieve and promote continual improvement, by setting environmental objectives and targets and assessing our achievements;

• annually review and update the policy and communicate it to all internal and interested external parties.

Tom Maggs, Environmental Management and Audit Unit Manager, AAD