Our environmental policy

“We share our responsibility for environmental management with all who work for us and with us — it is our culture.” Tony Press, Director, AAD

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) of the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage has lead responsibility for achieving Australia’s Antarctic goals:

  • to maintain the Antarctic Treaty System and enhance Australia’s influence in it;
  • to protect the Antarctic environment;
  • to understand the role of Antarctica in the global climate system; and
  • to undertake scientific work of practical, economic and national significance.
To achieve these goals the AAD, from its Headquarters in Tasmania, administers the Australian Antarctic Territory and the Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands; develops domestic and international Antarctic policy; implements environmental protection measures; facilitates and conducts scientific research; and maintains research stations and field bases.

Environmental Policy

The AAD seeks to undertake its work in an environmentally responsible way. To this end, we will:

  • comply with all applicable environmental laws and agreements, and require compliance with them by participants in activities supported by the AAD, by other Australian visitors to the Antarctic, and by our contractors and suppliers;
  • promote compliance with the environmental obligations of the Antarctic Treaty System by other national operators, organisations and individuals in the Antarctic;
  • ensure transparency in our environmental decision-making;
  • implement measures to prevent or minimise pollution, waste and other human impacts in all environments in which we operate;
  • conserve and protect our significant Antarctic heritage;
  • provide environmental education and training for participants in activities supported by the AAD, other visitors to the Antarctic and the public;
  • undertake and support research that contributes to protecting and understanding the Antarctic environment; and
  • systematically manage our activities to achieve continual improvement in our environmental performance.
The AAD will communicate this policy to all persons working for or on behalf of the AAD, and will review and update this policy in two years.