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Material use & waste management

Our Environment

Material use & waste managementAs stated in our Environment Policy we start from the basic waste management principals of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The majority of materials we use are at our corporate offices where we have focussed on good waste management practices. In terms of solid waste at the Macquarie Park Campus, we send the material to an alternative waste processing plant at Eastern Creek where over 90% is recovered and avoids landfill.

All paper and cardboard is dealt with separately, and sent to recycling. Toner and printer cartridges are part of a recycling process that has been in operation since 2004. At the campus where there are a number of food outlets we collect and recycle all used oil from the cooking processes.

In the Network, we annually replace and recycle about 200 tonnes of industrial size lead acid batteries that are used in exchanges and mobile phone base stations for back-up power. All e-waste such as computers, monitors and printers and collected and recycled or reused

We recognise that the social and environmental performance of our business plays a significant role in our long-term success. This extends to the procurement of products and services. We expect our suppliers to adhere to a minimum level of social and environmental standards set out in our Supplier Code of Practice (SCoP). We have also specified leadership qualities for these areas. Suppliers that have adopted these leadership expectations will be considered favourably. The six critical areas detailed in this code of practice are:

  • Governance
  • Performance reporting
  • Environmental management
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Labour
  • Supplier Management.

Our Environmental Management System outlines a number of environmental principles that are considered when purchasing telecommunications goods since most of this equipment is not manufactured by Optus. For ‘rebranded’ equipment distributed through our retail stores, the primary packaging materials are paper and cardboard, shrink-wrap and blister packs.

Optus’ approach to managing and minimising packaging that we are responsible for under the Australian Packaging Covenant is outlined in our 3 year Packaging Action Plan.

General waste bins are available in all kitchen and common areas. To prevent staff from throwing recyclables in the wrong bin, we have no general waste bins at office desks.

All general waste is sent to the WSN Alternative Waste Treatment facility. A mechanical sorter recovers any additional recyclable materials, with the remaining waste processed through a biological treatment that isolates and processes the organic fraction from the general waste to make compost.