Sustainability Principles

We use the following principles to guide our decisions across the business.

Sustainability Element
Principle
Description
What this means in practice to Coliban Water

Economic

Sustainable economic development

To enhance individual and community well-being and welfare by following a path of economic development that safeguards the welfare of future generations

Understanding the projected development needs of the region and ensuring we support growth that is ‘sustainable’ through effective water and wastewater services

Sustainable growth

The need to develop a strong, growing and diversified economy which can enhance the capacity for environmental protection should be recognised

Sharing the benefits of sustainable development of the region equitably

Economic instruments

Cost effective and flexible policy instruments should be adopted, such as improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms

Use of effective economic instruments to reflect the community cost of providing water and wastewater services

Social

Intergenerational equity

To provide for equity within and between generations

Ensuring our current operations take into account the future needs of the region and do not adversely affect the ability of future generations to secure water and wastewater services

Community Engagement

Decisions and actions should provide for broad community involvement on issues which affect them  

Genuine engagement with community and stakeholders in major decision making, regularly reviewing and reporting our performance

Environmental

Ecological integrity

To protect biological diversity and maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems

Managing our operations and facilities in a manner that is not detrimental to the region’s ecological systems (e.g.: reducing discharges, ensuring abstractions are within sustainable limits)

Precautionary principle

Where 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

Taking a precautionary approach where potential for environmental damage is uncertain (e.g.: potential impact of new abstractions, application of new treatment technologies)

Global impacts

The global dimension of environmental impacts of actions and policies should be recognised and considered

Reducing our dependency on non renewable resources, and increasing renewables, particularly in the area of energy and greenhouse gas emissions

Environmental responsibility

The need to maintain and enhance international competitiveness in an environmentally sound manner should be recognised

Avoiding, minimising and mitigating the environmental impacts of our operations and our partners’ operations (e.g.: office based impacts, treatment processes) while maximising efficient use of resources (e.g. water recycling) minimising wastes and preventing pollution (e.g. biosolids)

Governance

Systems thinking

Decision making processes should effectively integrate both long and short-term economic, environmental, social and equity considerations

Understanding the implications of strategy implementation across all areas of our business, identifying conflicts and trade offs and how to manage these in the short, medium and long term; considering life cycle impacts in all our decisions

 

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