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 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 building to a five star standard, by either achieving 60 points under the department’s Environmentally Sustainable Design Guidelines or for offices over 2,000 square meters achieving five star Green Star
    • 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 through 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 compliance 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 and sustainable transport alternatives, such as videoconferencing and public transport
  • 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 preparing for climate change
  • avoiding, reducing, reusing, recycling waste and resource 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 environment impacts of their day-to-day work, to do this staff must follow the policy statements above and supporting Standard Operating Procedures.

Executive Environment Committee:

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

Regional Environmental Action Plan (REAP) coordinators:

  • work with the environment team to coordinate the development and implementation of region-specific environmental action plans
  • regularly engage with key stakeholders to monitor, review, report and improve on region specific environmental indicators.

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 training and events, as per the Environmental Communications Plan.

Responsibility to plan

The department has an overarching Environmental Management System, for which the department’s executive Environment Committee 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
  • 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)
  • Regional Environmental Action Plans (REAPs)
  • 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 and Planning 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.

Contents of the Regional Environmental Action Plans (REAP)

Each region within the department is required to develop a REAP in consultation with key stakeholders, such as those within custodial facilities or Justice Service Centres. The REAP must support the delivery of the EMP and more broadly the Environment and Climate Change Policy.

The development, endorsement, implementation and monitoring of the REAP must comply with the REAP Regional Governance Structure.


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

Responsibility for the Policy resides with the Manager, Environment and Planning.

Contact details: (External link)

Related documents legislation and policy

Department of Justice and Community Safety document, policies and guidelines

  • Environmental Management Plan
  • Regional Environmental Action Plans
  • Supplementary Motor Vehicle Policy
  • Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) Guidelines
  • REAP Regional Governance Structure
  • EMS Standard Operating Procedures
  • Environmental Local Operating Procedures

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 by the Secretary of the department: October 2018.

Revision due: October 2022.