Australian Information Industry Association
About the Group
The AIIA Environment Special Interest Group (eSIG) is an active group of AIIA members focusing on government policy and regulations relating to sustainability. Currently key areas of interest include waste management, recycling, energy efficiency, climate change and emerging enablement technologies that can help reduce the environmental impacts on society.
The purpose of the group is to actively engage with governments to ensure that our member’s interests and views are well represented, and reflected, within government policy and regulations. The group also advises industry on environmental issues and best practice. eSIG is highly regarded within government – we are often contacted for our views on emerging policy areas by ministers and senior government officials, and regularly participate on advisory groups and reference committees. The experience of our members in the area of product stewardship, in particular, is highly respected.
Our aim is to provide a forum for AIIA members to discuss environmental and sustainability issues of interest with the aim of:
- Forming an industry view on proposed environmental policy, legislation and standards in order to influence the outcomes in accordance with AIIA goals through AIIA representation and advocacy
- Providing IT industry input to ANZRP IT/TV Product Stewardship Program and other relevant Product Stewardship Programs
- Liaising with other industry bodies to share experience and promote harmonisation of policy, legislation and standards
- Sharing knowledge and experience to spread the load and encourage best practice
ESIG meets on a bimonthly basis. In the period between meetings members are in regular contact on key issues, typically via teleconference.
eSIG 2016 Work Plan
1. ESIG future direction
- Long term areas of focus
2. Television and Computer Recycling Scheme
NTCRS Working Group to focus on:
- Advocate for Government to provide training for new standards
- Extending NTCRS to full scope
- NTCRS legislative review
3. GEMS/E3 (ICT equipment energy ratings)
- Monitor E3 work plan to ensure ICT products remain off the list
- Regulator Performance Framework – monitor public reports against KPI
- Service improvements – monitor and progress as required
- Fees review
- Decide on our position and how we want to influence process
- Engage with NPCIA on any upcoming issues
5. Hazardous waste
- Hazardous waste reforms - monitor and progress as required
- Engage with Basel Convention on-going working group
6. Other subjects to monitor
- Illegal Logging Act (paper use)
- Electrical Safety Standards & Electrical Magnetic Compliance
- ROSH/REACH (EU directives for chemical/substance restrictions in manufacturing products)
- Data Centre energy efficiency – NABERS Rating Scheme
- Emerging Technologies that can reduce environmental impacts
Since 2000 the eSIG has been involved with various stakeholders including Federal, State and local government, green groups, TV industry and recyclers in making the case for and then setting up many of the industry stewardship programs in place today.
As a result this small group has already made a significant impact on the environmental landscape of Australia by being strong advocates for better regulation on the dangerous impacts of eWaste that our industry is responsible for.
Past achievements include:
- Submissions to government on the form of product stewardship legislation (government was pushing for a voluntary scheme, which would not have been effective)
- Establishment of the Byteback pilot project together with Sustainability Victoria (SV) in 2009 – participating brands funded their own waste and SV funded the rest (50%). This proved that regulation was necessary to make a level playing field, as many brands were not prepared to participate unless it was mandatory.
- The free computer recycling service, Byteback™ collected and processed over 3,750 tonnes of computer waste. It finished operating on 31 July 2012 and was replaced by the National TV and Computer Recycling Scheme.
- MOU with Total Environment Centre and Product Stewardship Australia (PSA) agreeing on the principles for national legislation
- Participation in the NZ government working group for the development of their National Waste legislation, which provides for product stewardship
- Participation in the Government Implementation working group during the drafting of the Act and Regulations. This was very intense work working very closely with Federal and State governments to help design how the National scheme would work.
- Developed the Interim Industry Standard for Collection Transport and Storage and Recycling of End of Life TVs and Computers, through a consultation process. This standard formed the basis of the new Australian Standard (AS/NZS 5377) published in February 2013
- Funded and drove the formation of Australia New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP), setting up the project with a dedicated project manager after Product Stewardship Australia pulled the original funding.
- eSIG remained the driving force and sponsor for ANZRP , with ANZRP reporting monthly to the SIG, until the new company was formally accredited by the government and had established members. The ANZRP now operates as a fully independent entity.
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