All Victorian Government departments are required to maintain an Environmental Management System (EMS) to manage their environmental impacts, mitigate risks and realise opportunities for efficiency gains. The policy is a critical document that informs the development and implementation of a range of environment themed action plans, projects, targets, programs and procedures across the department.


This policy outlines the Department of Justice and Community Safety’s (DJCS's) commitment to the environment, with the department committing to preventing pollution, fulfil compliance obligations and continually improve its environmental performance.


This policy applies to all departmental employees (including employees who are contracted) and the administrative function within Ministers’ Offices. Employees of independent statutory entities are not governed by this policy except where they are co-located at the department’s sites.

Statement of Policy

The department is committed to:

  • continuously improve the department’s EMS by following environmental objectives, actions and targets for performance
  • minimising the environmental impacts of the department’s infrastructure and accommodation via:
    • completing environment and planning assessments for capital works and buildings to a five-star standard, by either achieving 60 points under the department’s Environmental Sustainability Guidelines for Capital Works or by achieving a five-star Green Star rating or offices over 2000 square meters
    • use of energy and water efficient appliances
    • improving the environmental performance of the department’s leased buildings
  • operate correctional and custodial facilities in a sustainable manner, including the innovative use of horticulture programs, sustainable land management and recycling programs
  • collaborating with the community, government organisations and not-for profit organisations to gain environmental benefit from community work orders. The resulting community work initiatives include environmental restoration, disaster recovery works, graffiti and rubbish removal
  • complying with, and where practical, exceed the requirements of relevant legislation and regulations to continually improve our environmental performance, such as the use of the department’s Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) guidelines for capital projects.
  • minimising environment impacts in its supply chain, following the ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable Procurement and procuring sustainable goods and services from companies committed to environmental improvement
  • purchasing low emission vehicles, choosing sustainable transport alternatives (public transport) and reducing travel (by means of videoconferencing)
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions via the use of renewable energy technologies and efficient products. For unavoidable travel emissions, the department will purchase carbon offsets of reputable standard
  • managing climate change risks by incorporating climate change into decision making and adapting to climate change
  • avoiding, reducing, reusing, recycling waste and resources efficiency
  • provide education on environmental matters to both staff and where appropriate, clients.


All employees and contracted staff are responsible to avoid or minimise the environmental impacts of their day-to-day work, to do this staff must follow the policy statements above and supporting Standard Operating Procedures.

Board of Management:

  • encourage staff engagement with policy initiatives
  • annually review the effectiveness of the environment program
  • provide direction and support for environmental management.

Groups and Business Units:

  • each Group and Business Unit should consider, manage and seek to continually improve their own environmental risks and opportunities.

Environment team:

  • provide environmental expertise to the department
  • develop and maintain the EMS including supporting plans and registers
  • analyse and report on environmental performance including compliance obligations
  • undertake environment and planning assessments and recommend actions to minimise environmental impacts
  • provide support to manage the department’s climate change risk
  • maintain a procedure for reporting, investigating and rectifying environmental incidents
  • ensure the department’s EMS is compliant with government policy and international standards
  • deliver environmental communications, training and events.

Responsibility to plan

The department has an overarching Environmental Management System (EMS), for which the department’s Board of Management is accountable.

An EMS is a requirement of all government departments and is independently audited every two years. The EMS is primarily comprised of:

  • the Environment and Climate Change Policy (this document)
  • the Environment and Climate Change Strategy
  • the environmental aspects and impacts register (including legal and other legislative requirements) – a register of all department’s activities, services and products that may have an impact (positive or negative) on the environment
  • a two-year Environmental Management Plan (EMP)
  • Environmental Communications Plan – describes the key messages, target audience and the channels of communication.

The EMS is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

Contents of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP)

The department’s EMP is developed biennially in line with environmental aspects and impacts, government policy and legislative requirements. The plan contains objectives, targets and actions to meet the commitments of the Environment and Climate Change policy and ultimately reduce the department’s environmental impacts and improve efficiencies.

The EMP must be developed in consultation with key business areas. The environment team is responsible for the development, monitoring and evaluation of the EMP. Where a business area is identified within the EMP, their support is critical to the delivery of the actions.


The review of this Policy will take place every four years.

Responsibility for the Policy resides with the Assistant Director, Environment and Climate Change.

Contact details: (External link)

Related documents legislation and policy

Department of Justice and Community Safety document, policies and guidelines

  • Environment and Climate Change Strategy
  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Supplementary Motor Vehicle Policy
  • Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) Guidelines
  • EMS Standard Operating Procedures
  • Environmental Local Controls supporting DCI 9.20

Victorian Government legislations and guidelines

  • Environment Protection Act 1970
  • Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability Act 2003
  • AS ISO 20400:2017 Sustainable procurement – Guidance
  • AS ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems
  • Victoria’s Social Procurement Framework
  • Financial Reporting Direction (FRD24D) Reporting of office-based environmental data by government entities

Policy details

This version was endorsed November 2020.

Revision due: July 2024.