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Our commitment to the environment

Whether we’re out in the field or in the office, our activities can impact on the environment and we’re committed to reducing this where we can. Our proactive approach to engaging with various stakeholders helps us reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainability through a number of initiatives.

We continue to improve our environmental sustainability by implementing programs and initiatives such as:

  • lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions – we’re investigating and investing in the use of renewable energy and battery storage
  • waste and recycling systems – our landfill diversion rate across all our sites is approximately 76%
  • a Circular Economy model – we use, recover and regenerate products and materials
  • Sustainable Procurement – we make purchasing decisions based on the entire life cycle of the goods and services
  • green IT initiatives – we’ve implemented efficiency projects including print management, server racks and the reselling/recycling of redundant equipment
  • efficient property maintenance and development – we use energy efficient lighting and air conditioning, solar panels and water sensitive urban design principles where possible
  • fleet initiatives – electric and hybrid cars and trucks make up part of our private fleet (the largest in South Australia)
  • water efficiency initiatives – the use of rainwater, efficient appliances and fittings, and reuse of wastewater help to reduce our water consumption.

We engage local stakeholders and community groups to minimise the impact of our work on Aboriginal, historical, natural and industrial sites or places. We also have procedures in place should an artefact or site of significance be discovered during system maintenance or construction works.

We conduct substation audits each year to assess our oil-filled assets (such as high voltage transformers and insulators) against safety, condition and environmental criteria. We also check for PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) contamination from old transformers and circuit breakers. Substations located close to homes, offices, waterways or conservation areas or considered high risk and may require the installation of bunding (a type of wall) around transformers to protect the surrounding area from a leak.

We have an ongoing program of assessment and remediation of historical and incident related contamination of depot sites, substations and other sites throughout South Australia. This program helps to detect site contamination from previous uses or because of our current or past operations.

Our Environment branch provides up-to-date practical advice and assistance on a wide range of topics to our Customer Relations team, Project Managers and staff working in the field. These topics may include:

  • Native vegetation
  • Biosecurity
  • Contaminated soil
  • Aboriginal and European cultural heritage
  • Noise/vibration
  • Wildlife

We have a robust process in place to allow us to respond to incidents rapidly and manage environmental impacts. If an incident has, or could, cause harm to the environment our Network Operations Centre will dispatch our emergency response team to contain any spills. Field staff and project managers are also trained to manage other environmental incidents should they occur.

For more information

Our policies, programs and dedicated processes can be found within the following documents:

Undergrounding powerlines fact sheet
(63 KB) Download
Climate Change Policy
(15 KB) Download
Possums and powerlines fact sheet
(70 KB) Download
SA Power Networks Environment Policy
(21 KB) Download
Electric and magnetic fields fact sheet
(76 KB) Download