Sustainability measures making a difference at Port Arthur

March 9, 2011

Staff at the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) have been working to reduce overall environmental impacts across the organisation, with very positive early results.

The whole-of-organisation response has been achieved by establishing a sustainability working group called ‘SPA’ – Sustainable Port Arthur, which seeks to involve and implement suggestions on ways to save energy and improve environmental outcomes from all staff in every business unit.

Strategies adopted to date include very simple things, such as contacting the publishers of various printed circulars to reduce the number of copies sent, assigning staff to switch off equipment and heaters at the end of each day, encouraging staff to use double-sided laser printing, and emailing (rather than posting) of invoices, are all making a contribution.

Other strategies include the introduction of compostable takeaway containers in our cafes, Site-wide paper recycling, composting of organic waste and the installation of solar hot water heating at the Port Arthur Caravan Park (the land and infrastructure of which is owned and managed by PAHSMA). A number of guest speakers have been invited to present on ways to combat climate change to both PAHSMA staff and members of the local community.

Though in the early stages of recordkeeping, energy consumption recorded to date has shown a 7% reduction in kW-h consumed Site-wide from the 2008/09 to the 2009/10 recording period, and more than a 14% reduction in energy used in the Visitor Centre over the same period.

PAHSMA has just written up its Sustainable Port Arthur initiatives and outcomes and entered the Earth Hour awards. Winners of the Awards will be announced in a special event in Sydney on the night of Earth Hour, Saturday 26 March.

PAHSMA's Grounds and Gardens crew have set up composting systems, including use of leaves from the Site

PAHSMA’s Grounds and Gardens crew have set up composting systems, including use of leaves from the Site

PAHSMA's Building Works crew have installed water tanks to supply water for public toilets and garden use

PAHSMA’s Building Works crew have installed water tanks to supply water for public toilets and garden use

The Admin team have stopped mailing paper invoices, now sending the majority by email

The Admin team have stopped mailing paper invoices, now sending the majority by email

The Food and Beverage crew have made many changes, from turning of one cool room in the low season, to no longer using disposable food containers in the Museum Cafe. Takeaway containers that are used are all now biodegradeable

The Food and Beverage crew have made many changes, from turning of one cool room in the low season, to no longer using disposable food containers in the Museum Cafe. Takeaway containers that are used are all now biodegradeable

Staff in the gift shop have stopped using plastic bags

Staff in the gift shop have stopped using plastic bags