Our Enterprise Support functions fosters a safe, sustainable and inclusive workplace.

Table 3.15: Summary of our Performance for Activity 4
KPI and metric Target Result

Diversity and inclusion:

Increase the number of shortlisted female applicants for leadership positions (CSOF 6-9)

>30% of shortlisted applicants for leadership positions are female


34% of shortlisted applicants for leadership positions were female, based on applications where gender identity was identified. The overall proportion of female leaders employed by CSIRO has increased by 1% from last year.


Staff engagement score as measured through the staffsurvey

78% of CSIRO staff are engaged with the organisation


The staff engagement score of 78%, as measured through the staff survey, has achieved the target and is a solid improvement from 75% recorded last year. This represents a continued positive trajectory for staff morale, trending well towards longer term targets.


  • Staff are proud to be associated with CSIRO as measured through the staffsurvey
  • Maintain or increase public perception of CSIRO as measured through a community survey

82% of staff are proud to be associated with CSIRO


This year 90% of staff said they were proud to be associated with CSIRO, significantly exceeding the target and improving from the score of 84% recorded last year.

82% of survey participants are aware of CSIRO


The Australian community’s perception and awareness of CSIRO is 89%, consistent with 2016–17 results.

Budget operating result:

Meet or exceed bottom line operating result as approved bythe Board

Achieved or exceeded


CSIRO achieved an operating result consistent with the approved budget, with a slightly positive variance of approximately 0.5% of the budget.

Staff safety:

  • Regulatory reportable Comcare incidents
  • % HSE audits and reviews actions completed on time

No more than 9 Comcare incidents


There were 8 incidents reported to Comcare. None of the incidents resulted in serious injuries, but resulted in detailed investigations and a focus being placed on safety leadership within the organisation.

80% audits and review actions completed on time


91% of HSE audits and reviews actions were completed on time. The remaining actions are in progress towards completion.

Green shading indicates positive progress for the year and the target has been achieved.

Diversity and inclusion

The CSIRO 2020 Strategy and the People Strategy articulate our commitment to realising the innovation benefits derived from an inclusive workforce diverse in its background, thinking and experiences. CSIRO has addressed diversity and inclusion in its broadest forms over several years, with a targeted focus on gender, cultural diversity and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

An important focus of improving diversity is on leadership positions, where the intention to improve the gender balance can be exhibited by an increased proportion of female candidates being shortlisted for appointment. During 2017–18, of the applicants where gender identity was available, more than 34 per cent were female. The overall proportion of female leaders employed by CSIRO increased to 32 per cent from 31 per cent last year. This represents a trajectory towards an actual improvement in the gender balance in CSIRO leadership.

This year, CSIRO expanded its participation in two key government-funded National Innovation Statement initiatives: the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program, initiated by the Australian Academy of Science, and Male Champions of Change STEM.

The SAGE program provides an accreditation framework designed to improve gender equity and diversity in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine via the pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australia. Athena SWAN Awards offer Bronze, Silver and Gold levels in recognition of institutional capacity to eliminate gender inequity and a demonstrated commitment to bolster the employment, promotion and retention of women.

CSIRO applied on 29 March 2018 seeking an entry level Bronze Award. The CSIRO SAGE Action Plan 2018–2022 consists of 90 targeted actions to address the cultural, systemic and pipeline barriers to women’s progression in STEM. The Action Plan aims to deliver benefits within CSIRO while also contributing to best practice solutions across STEM.

The Male Champions of Change STEM group was established in October 2016 in partnership with the Male Champions of Change Institute. Its primary purpose is to work together to achieve a significant and sustainable increase in the representation of women in leadership positions in STEM. In the first year, our Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall engaged in seven focus groups within CSIRO to understand barriers to gender equality and generate bold action plans for change.

Since 1994, departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at Australian Public Service Commission . From 2010–11, departments and agencies are no longer required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the Strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports is available at: National Disability Strategy 2010-2020 .

The percentage of CSIRO staff who recorded a disability as at 30 June 2018 was 4.1 per cent.

Indigenous engagement

We launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in late 2016, which builds on CSIRO’s Indigenous Engagement Strategy. Achievements from the RAP are evident across several areas in partnerships, cultural awareness, employment, procurement and education. This year, Welcome to Country activities have increased at CSIRO events including the CSIRO Awards ceremony and launch of the Synergy building, and in carrying out an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners at the beginning of meetings from the CSIRO Board and CSIRO Executive, to meetings in business and support areas.

The CSIRO Board, following the advice of CSIRO’s Indigenous Strategic Advisory Council and Executive Team, endorsed CSIRO developing its next RAP for 2018. The new RAP has been drafted in accordance with Reconciliation Australia’s RAP framework and with consultation across CSIRO from Business Units and Enterprise Services, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Forum, and with guidance and advice from the CSIRO Indigenous Strategic Advisory Council (ISAC). The new RAP has been endorsed by the Executive Team and CSIRO Board and will be presented to Reconciliation Australia for its endorsement in July 2018.

In 2017–18, we developed a new Introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Awareness Framework spanning online, workshop and customised individual and team development initiatives. CSIRO’s ISAC endorsed the Framework in March. Highlights this year included the development of the online program component of the Framework and piloting, in partnership with ISAC member Mr Phil Duncan, a Cultural Safety workshop for CSIRO leaders and staff.

CSIRO acknowledged National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June 2018) with 18 events at CSIRO sites across Australia including events with guest speakers from local Traditional Owner communities, traditional foods, an art exhibition, an art interactive workshop, a flag raising and staff discussions about the Week’s theme ‘Don’t keep History a Mystery’ and CSIRO’s Reconciliation Action Plan. For NAIDOC week in July 2017, CSIRO encouraged all staff to participate in local events and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff were able to use leave provisions to participate in cultural events.

CSIRO is tracking well against the Commonwealth Government’s target for purchasing from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned enterprises. In 2017–18, 1.6 per cent of CSIRO’s contracts were awarded to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses, up from 1.3 per cent in 2016–17 and 0.2 per cent in 2015–16. The total value in the contracts awarded over this period increased from $2.7 million in 2015–16 to $22 million in 2017–18. Considered against CSIRO’s total operating costs, expenditure with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-owned businesses increased from 0.7 per cent in 2015–16 to 6 per cent of total operating costs in 2017–18.

CSIRO announced a new award in 2018 as part of the CSIRO Awards program. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Engagement Award recognises the achievements of CSIRO Officers in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement, participation, service delivery and research services.


Staff engagement is an overall measure of employee connection to their organisation and is closely correlated with productivity and performance. This year, we met our target of 78 per cent, compared to 75 per cent last year and 68 per cent in 2016.

CSIRO has rolled out a number of initiatives explicitly focused on building engagement with staff, including: ongoing senior leader-led initiatives (e.g. round tables, site visits); state-wide CSIRO Connect events in 2017 and 2018 to build a shared sense of purpose around our strategic direction, and ensuring that everyone feels included and valued. This year we have also implemented the organisational initiative Taking Action, which aims to transparently and collaboratively tackle major issues identified through staff feedback; and broader cultural actions to focus on transparency and accountability, greater inclusiveness, and building mutual trust with leaders.


CSIRO has a reputation as a leading and respected institution in national and global innovation and as a trusted advisor. We assess our reputation through annual community surveys and an internal staff survey measuring staff pride, which provide us with the necessary insights to continue to play a key role in Australia’s productivity and competitiveness.

Public awareness of CSIRO of 89 per cent is excellent and remains consistent with the past five years. Positive perceptions of CSIRO are also consistent, with 65 per cent of Australians viewing CSIRO positively.

A new Corporate Affairs strategy was approved in 2018. The strategy focuses on strengthening CSIRO’s brand and creating more opportunities to connect with our community and customers. For example, in May we collaborated with Vivid Sydney to promote our data visualisation, health and biosecurity research. Our collaboration was promoted to millions internationally by Vivid Sydney, and our staff at our ‘Beautiful and Dangerous’ light activation interacted with over 7,000 people to promote the work of CSIRO.

CSIRO staff have always had a strong sense of pride in CSIRO and the role it plays in delivering high impact science to Australia. This is reflected in the score of 90 per cent of staff saying they are proud to be associated with CSIRO this year, an increase over the 84 per cent recorded last year and 80 per cent in 2016. In addition to the CSIRO Connect and Taking Action initiatives mentioned above, there are several other projects focused on work that will help to ensure the organisation remains a place where staff feel proud to work, such as defining our employee value proposition and the progressive SAGE initiative, which represents a major effort to build a diverse and inclusive culture where all employees can feel equally valued.

Budget operating result

In 2017–18, CSIRO delivered a deficit from ongoing operations of $59.8 million primarily due to unfunded depreciation expenses relating to assets for which capital was previously provided by the Government, consistent with expectations as outlined in CSIRO’s Budget Statements. Externally earned revenue was $499.2 million (excluding the impact of any gains or losses on asset sales), which is a 3.1 per cent increase on the previous financial year. This outcome is more significant given 2017–18 was the first year for some time where CSIRO did not receive revenue from WLAN, which was received through a settlement process.

Since 2014–15, CSIRO has recognised strong growth in revenue from the Australian private sector industry (growth of 22 per cent) and the overseas entities and international sector (growth of 15 per cent), underlining the success of CSIRO’s strategy in accessing new markets for Australian Innovation and creating deeper innovation relationships with our customers. Appropriations from government was $793.5 million, which is a record for CSIRO and reflects the important role that CSIRO plays in the innovation system. Total expenses for CSIRO were $1,352.5 million. All of these figures are materially consistent with approved budgets (see Table 3.16).

Revenue source 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
Australian private sector 78.5 69.4 80.1 86.9 84.4
Australian governments 179.3 181.1 147.8 165.6 173.9
Rural Industries Research and DevelopmentCorporation 50.2 38.1 31.7 38.7 42.7
Cooperative Research Centres 14.7 9.5 10.0 12.0 9.1
Overseas entities and international 84.7 81.4 99.3 80.7 93.6
Work in progress/deferred revenue –13.0 –6.1 –4.0 –9.3 –2.8
Total co-investment, consulting andservices 394.4 373.4 364.9 374.7 400.8
Intellectual property (IP)—royalty andlicence revenues 29.1 60.8 59.7 51.1 43.2
Total research and services revenue 423.5 434.2 424.7 425.8 444.0
Other external revenue 43.2 44.6 37.8 57.3 55.1
Gain/(loss) on sale of assets - 0.0 1.2 0.9 0.1
Other fair value gains and reversals - 6.7 - - -
Total external revenue 466.7 485.5 463.7 484.0 499.2
Revenue from government 778.2 745.3 750.3 787.3 793.5
Total revenue 1,244.9 1,230.8 1,214.0 1,271.3 1,292.7
Less expenses 1,270.6 1,245.3 1,261.8 1,292.1 1,352.5
Operating result –25.7 –14.5 –47.8 –20.8 –59.8

Staff safety

In 2017–18, eight incidents (serious personnel injuries or high potential incidents) were reported to Comcare. One biosecurity incident was reported to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. None of these incidents resulted in serious injuries, however they were extremely serious and have resulted in detailed investigations and a focus on safety leadership within the organisation. Ninety-one per cent of reviews and actions arising from reportable incidents, or as a result of internal or external audits, were completed on time. The remaining actions are in progress, pending a restructure of the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) function.

Bar chart showing the regulatory notifiable incidents, 2013–14 to 2017–18:

  • 2013–14: serious injury 1; dangerous incident 12
  • 2014–15: serious injury 3; dangerous incident 8; other* 2
  • 2015–16: serious injury 4; dangerous incident 6
  • 2016–17: serious injury 1; dangerous incident 8; other* 5
  • 2017–18: serious injury 4; dangerous incident 4; other* 1.

* indicates biosecurity incident, reportable to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Figure 3.6: Regulatory notifiable incidents, 2013–14 to 2017–18

*Biosecurity incident, reportable to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

In 2017–18, 34 staff suffered an injury serious enough to prevent them from coming to work, four more than 2016–17. These injuries occurred at a rate of 3.9 per million hours worked, which is an increase from the rate of 3.2 in 2016–17. These incidents are being fully investigated, but an initial review does not indicate a common contributing factor. In 2017–18, we had a significant decrease in injuries that required medical treatment. These combined reductions resulted in a 20 percent reduction in the Recordable Injury Frequency Rate in the financial year.

A key focus of our safety programs is to prevent injuries that have the potential to cause death or permanent disability. The top five enterprise risks in 2017–18, listed below, are addressed in our HSE strategic plan:

  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Plant and Equipment
  • Psychosocial
  • Travel (includes fieldwork)
  • Chemicals and Gases.

In addition to the safety programs, we further developed a high-performance injury management team. This team achieved full compliance against the rehabilitation management system audit criteria in 2017–18 with only a small number of administrative improvements captured as observations. During this time, CSIRO also reduced its workers compensation premium by more than $1 million as a result of the early intervention efforts and dedicated rehabilitation support provided by this team.

In 2015–16, CSIRO’s HSE 2020 Plan was developed to support CSIRO’s strategy. In 2017–18, HSE staff worked with the Business Units and support staff to advance the programs and achieve cultural change by empowering staff to be safety leaders.

In 2017–18, an independent external HSE functional and capacity review identified the following areas of improvement: HSE Culture, Strategy and Leadership, Structure and Accountability, Capability and Capacity, and Systems and Processes. The review addressed both the HSE function and delivery of HSE outcomes across CSIRO more broadly. We are now implementing the review’s recommendations.

Line graph of CSIRO's recordable injury frequency rate financial year rolling 12-months1, 2013–18

Rolling LTIFR - highest value Mar-15, 12.2; lowest value Sep-17, 4.0; Jun-18, 4.2.

Rolling MTIFR - lowest value Dec-16, 2.9; Jun-18, 3.9.

Figure 3.7: CSIRO recordable injury frequency rate financial year rolling 12-months1, 2013–18

CSIRO launched a safety cultural change program to enhance the personal ownership of safety. HS-Me Day was undertaken across all CSIRO sites globally on 16 May (see page 17). The other key focus of HSE strategic projects is to make it easier for CSIRO team members to engage with HSE, build their skills and learn from past incidents. This includes continual review and improvement of the procedures and systems to ensure they are easier to use and understand.

Significant progress was also made in other key areas of the HSE 2020 Plan and these will be finalised in 2018–19. These include:

  • further measures to make sure that researchers fully assess risks before undertaking potentially hazardous processes
  • implementing the wellbeing framework.

Managing our environment

Reducing emissions and consumption

CSIRO has adopted government policy to reduce our emissions by 5 per cent by the end of June 2020 (compared to 1999–2000 levels). This aggressive carbon emission reduction target represents a 20 per cent reduction measured against business-as-usual projections. Electricity, gas and liquid fuel-related emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) account for approximately 38 per cent of CSIRO’s total carbon footprint2, with emissions embedded in CSIRO’s supply chain (Scope 3) making up the other 62 per cent. To date, key focus areas have included:

  • sustainable buildings and laboratory practices that lead to greater utilisation of facilities to meet future research and enterprise needs
  • low-emission collaboration, including transport
  • low-emission energy technologies
  • understanding the impact of CSIRO’s supply chain on our carbon footprint.

To achieve our research goals, CSIRO operates multiple types of facilities, such as laboratories, glasshouses, farm properties, supercomputers and telescope facilities, as well as managing plants and livestock. We also manage several nationally significant facilities on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, such as the high-security microbiological facility, Australian Animal Health Laboratory. These activities require significant quantities of energy and water, and produce waste.

Energy consumption (electricity and gas) dropped from 6453 gigajoules (GJ) in 2016–17 to 630 GJ in 2017–18, a 2 per cent decrease. This includes CSIRO’s use of electricity generated by on-site solar photovoltaic systems. The 2017–18 energy consumption is 2 per cent below the five-year average of 646 GJ per annum. Electricity consumption fell by 4 per cent, while gas consumption rose slightly (0.5 per cent) compared to the previous year. Our energy consumption continues to trend downward over the longer term, falling by 4 per cent over the last five years (see Table 3.17).

Factors that influenced our energy consumption in 2017–18 included:

  • increased electricity and gas consumption at our Black Mountain site, attributed to the occupation of the new Synergy building, new glasshouse and heating of the Discovery building
  • increased electricity and gas consumption at our Australian Animal Health Laboratory
  • installation of 300 kW of photovoltaic cells at our Werribee site in December, which resulted in an 8 per cent reduction in electricity consumption at that site to the end of the financial year
  • Relocation of staff from our Canberra City and Spring Hill sites and final disconnection of electricity and gas from our Highett and Belmont sites
  • A range of sustainability initiatives undertaken across CSIRO.

11% reduction in carbon emissions over 5 years

CSIRO's carbon emissions due to electricity and gas consumption continue to fall, reducing by 5 per cent compared to the previous year and 11 per cent over the last five years (see Figure 3.8). CSIRO’s electricity and gas-related emissions are 7 per cent below the five-year average. Electricity-related emissions fell by 6 per cent in the last 12 months, attributed to both reductions in consumption and changes in emission factors, offsetting a marginal rise in gas-related emissions.

CSIRO's mains water usage decreased by 10 per cent compared to the previous year, primarily due to the significant reduction in water consumption at Black Mountain, attributed to the completion of construction activities associated with the Synergy building and surrounds at the site. Mains water consumption in 2017–18 was 7 per cent below the five-year average of 347 ML.

CSIRO’s air travel, based on kilometres flown, increased by 4 per cent in 2017–18 compared to the previous year and was 2 per cent above the five-year average. Approximately 55 percent of our air travel is undertaken internationally, which accounts for approximately 51 per cent of CSIRO’s air-travel-related carbon emissions, based on preliminary calculations. Carbon emissions for international travel are general lower per kilometre compared to domestic travel due to less take-off and landing compared to short-haul flights.

Bar chart showing CSIRO energy and water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions (electricity and gas only).

Energy consumption (electricity and gas, terajoules):

  • 2013-14 658
  • 2014-15 657
  • 2015-16 645
  • 2016-17 645
  • 2017-18 630.

Water consumption (megalitres):

  • 2013-14 374
  • 2014-15 340
  • 2015-16 341
  • 2016-17 357
  • 2017-18 321.

Greenhouse gas emissions (kilotonnes CO2e):

  • 2013-14 122
  • 2014-15 122
  • 2015-16 117
  • 2016-17 115
  • 2017-18 109.

Figure 3.8: CSIRO energy and water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions (electricity and gas only).

Table 3.17: CSIRO energy, air travel and water intensities
Performance measure Indicator(s) 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
Energy Purchased energy (electricity and gas) consumed per employee (GJ/FTE)4 121 136 131 129 5 121
Air travel Million air kilometres travelled (km) 113 100 117 110 114
Air travel per employee (km/FTE) 20,853 18,874 24,187 19,644 21,872
Relative mains water use Amount of total water useper employee (kilolitres/FTE) 69 70 72 71 62

Sustainable facilities

CSIRO’s site consolidation program in Canberra reached a key milestone when we handed over our new Synergy building at the Black Mountain Science Innovation Precinct in July 2017. Synergy is the largest building on the Black Mountain site at 16,000 m2 and compromises purpose-built laboratory and office spaces. The building incorporates several environmental sustainability features including a mixed mode ventilation system, gas-boosted solar hot water, a thermal energy storage tank and rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation when required, and the ability to monitor and optimise the building operation through the building management system and network of submeters.

Opened in December 2017, the CSIRO Synergy Building forms the centrepiece of the Black Mountain Science and Innovation Park, and takes us one step closer to delivering the vision for a world-leading National Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Precinct.

Our submetering program has been implemented across priority sites. The program enables us to capture and analyse electricity, gas and water consumption data from more than 500 meters in key energy-intensive buildings. The system provides automated, centralised and easily accessible energy and water data, which enables us to unlock efficiency gains through optimised building performance; monitor the effectiveness of energy-efficiency projects; investigate consumption-based tenancy agreements; and open up enhanced opportunities for scientific collaboration.

We have a mix of new and ageing buildings across our portfolio, including several heritage-listed buildings. As a result, realising carbon emission reduction opportunities can be challenging, particularly in older buildings, and these opportunities are often site or building specific. Building energy-efficiency programs are crucial to reduce the organisation’s carbon emissions. An example is our lighting upgrade program, which continues to reap energy and cost benefits, reducing our carbon footprint by more than 100 tCO2-e emissions in 2017–18. Energy costs have reduced by approximately $90,000 at our Pullenvale site due to a combination of lighting and other energy-efficiency initiatives. Additional lighting upgrades are in progress at our Clayton, Werribee and Hobart sites, which are expected to reduce emissions by approximately 500 tCO2-e and annual electricity-related costs by more than $100,000.

CSIRO deployed Fault Detection and Diagnostic (FDD) tools to two more buildings at the Black Mountain site, and we continue to use the tool in our Phytotron building on the same site. Our ongoing use of the tool means we can continue to identify and realise significant energy reductions. For example, in 2017–18, the tool helped us to identify several faults in trial buildings, including a significant increase in energy consumption in one building, which we are investigating. In our Australian National Herbarium building, we reduced energy consumption by an average of 3 per cent by recommissioning the building, upgrading lighting and fume cupboard controls, and deploying the FDD tool.

Our enterprise-wide carbon reduction programs were complemented by the work of our state and territory property teams, who strategically upgraded control systems and cooling and heating equipment in our buildings. This has enabled intelligent load management and optimised building loads. The teams implemented optimisation initiatives in Werribee, Clayton, Black Mountain and Floreat, while our property team in South Australia installed a solar heating system, decommissioning the preheating Trace cable network. This has resulted in annual energy savings of 140 MWh and reduced emissions by 112 tCO2-e.

Solar-powered science

CSIRO progressed towards our on-site renewable energy target of 5 megawatts (MW) by successfully installing a 300-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system at our Werribee site. The PV system generates approximately 15 per cent of the site’s electricity requirements, reduces carbon emissions by 517 tCO2-e per annum and saves on electricity costs.

Additional PV systems were installed at our Black Mountain site (142 kW) and Darwin site (99 kW), with installation of a 95-kW system in progress at CSIRO’s Armidale site. The PV installations are the next steps in a large-scale multi-site rollout as we move closer to achieving our 5 MW renewable energy target by 2020 (currently, just over 1 MW of PV capacity is installed across multiple sites).

On-site PV installations at CSIRO’s Waite, AAHL, Pullenvale, Clayton, Black Mountain and Narrabri sites are expected to begin within the next two years.

The 300-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at our Werribee site comprises 1,000 solar panels.

Engaging with our staff

As part of our Sustainable Labs & Offices Program, we developed a unique tool for sharing sustainability tips: the Treading Lightly Virtual Tour. The Virtual Tour uses 360° panorama technology to showcase ways that staff can make sustainable choices when working in the office, laboratory or kitchenette, as well in meetings and organising events.

Built into the Virtual Tour was a Sustainable Choices Survey, which played a dual role: firstly it prompted staff to examine how environmentally friendly their workplace choices were, as well as capturing meaningful data about sustainability practices. The survey also asked staff to submit a pledge to make one ‘green change’ in 2018. Staff submitted a wide variety of pledges ranging from the simple ‘I will compost all my tea from now on’ to the more ambitious ‘I will ride to work every day of the week’.

The successful completion of CSIRO’s submetering program also enabled us to develop a Live Energy Dashboard, trialled at CSIRO’s Black Mountain site as part of the new Synergy Building opening. The dashboard offers an engaging snapshot of live electricity data for five key buildings, including electricity intensity comparisons and consumption trends during the day. The project aims to educate staff about the energy used and costs required to power science. Monitoring of Synergy building data via the dashboard also provided rapid visualisation of electricity consumption patterns associated with the mixed mode ventilation system. As a result, the system was fine-tuned to remove large electricity demand spikes.

Waste and recycling

CSIRO actively manages around 30 waste and recycling categories through our national waste and recycling contract. From June 2017 to May 2018, CSIRO diverted over 11,600 cubic metres (weighing 1,600 tonnes) of waste from landfill, equating to a 38 per cent diversion rate by volume or 46 per cent by weight, which is slightly below our 50 per cent diversion from landfill target. Diverting waste from landfill resulted in avoided emissions of 1,080 tCO2-e between June 2017 and May 2018.

Contribution to ecologically sustainable development

CSIRO upholds the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) outlined in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 through our operations and research activities. Table 3.18 provides examples of how we support the principles.

Table 3.18: Examples of CSIRO’s contribution to ESD principles
Principles CSIRO’s activities
Decision-making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations. Under our planning and performance framework, CSIRO has adopted impact evaluations (conducted annually) and Business Unit reviews (conducted every 3 to 4 years) to assess the environmental, economic and social outcomes from our work. These assessments feed into a continuous improvement and evidence-based decision-making process to support the organisation’s future science directions and investments.
If there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation. Development of Australia’s coal and coal seam gas resources creates a significant challenge to provide the nation’s decision makers with transparent scientific information about the potential cumulative impacts of coal resource development. In conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology and Geoscience Australia, CSIRO undertook the Bioregional Assessment Programme. It provided integrated, regional-scale assessments of the cumulative impacts of resource development to inform the government’s approach to managing the environmental impacts of anticipated coal and coal seam gas development. The approach taken in Bioregional Assessments to examine the potential impacts of the extraction of shale and tight gas was built on by the Australian Government’s Geological and Bioregional Assessments programme, which began in 2018.
The principle of inter-generational equity – that the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of futuregenerations. CSIRO, in partnership with Victorian firm Lifecycles, Australian Oilseeds Federation and the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre, undertook a life cycle assessment of the environmental impacts of Australia’s canola industry to meet strict compliance requirements for access to EU markets. The assessment, accepted by the European Commission, successfully validated the sustainability of our canola industry, thereby securing access for Australian farmers and exporters to this valuable market. As other industries are called on to meet similar requirements, CSIRO’s capabilities are available to help Australia’s agricultural sector to assess environmental impacts and certify compliance with global responsibilities.
The conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making. A voyage led by CSIRO during October and November 2017 studied the long-term impact of trawling on fish and seafloor species on the North West Shelf off Western Australia. This area was subjected to heavy trawling in the 1970s and 1980s by Australian fishers. The data obtained and samples collected will enable the evaluation of recovery of benthic habitats and demersal fish assemblages 30 years after very significant reductions in trawl effort and enable a comparison with areas that have been trawled continuously over that period. The ability to do this with access to comparative data collected during the 1980s is unprecedented. This voyage will significantly improve our understanding of the long-term recovery of trawled marine habitats and of the effectiveness of management responses in both protecting and enabling recovery of impacted ecosystems. The results will be significant in an international context, as well as relevant to the management of trawl fisheries both in Australia and overseas.
Improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should bepromoted. In 2017–18, CSIRO delivered two in a series of six Industry Roadmaps, each aligned to the Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres. The Food and Agribusiness Roadmap and the Oil and Gas Roadmap identify major growth opportunities for Australia and what the sectors need to do to achieve them. These roadmaps are an important step in working with Australian industry to understand current and future technology, market and consumer trends.

Managing our heritage

We recognise our responsibility to protect and conserve the Commonwealth and national heritage values of the places we own or control, and we manage these values according to the requirements of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Our Heritage Strategy for CSIRO Land and Buildings 2016–20266 outlines our objectives and responsibilities for the management of heritage values and has been endorsed by the Australian Heritage Commission.

In 2017–18, the Heritage Management Plans for the CSIRO Yarralumla and CSIRO Black Mountain sites were endorsed by the Australian Heritage Council. These Plans, and plans other Commonwealth heritage-listed sites, can be found at Heritage land and buildings.

  1. The Recordable Injury Frequency Rate is calculated as the sum of Lost Time Injuries per million hours worked (LTIFR) plus the Medical Treatment Injuries per million hours worked (MTIFR).
  2. Baynes, T., Saldanha, T., Malik, A., Haque, N., Schandl, H., Lenzen, M., “Carbon Footprint Report”, 2015–16
  3. Updated after new June 2017 data received.
  4. GJ/FTE is gigajoules per full-time equivalent (staff). FTE refers to CSIRO Officers as at June 2018.
  5. Updated after new June 2017 data received.
  6. The Heritage Strategy, along with a list of CSIRO land or buildings with Commonwealth heritage values, is available at Heritage management.

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