Acacia Prison recognised

Published: 31 Jul 2012

Western Australia’s Acacia Prison has won an Australian Business Award for Environmental Sustainability.

The Award provides national recognition of Acacia’s targeted program to reduce emissions and increase sustainability on the site. The program was developed with the aim of minimising the prison’s impact on the environment, while meeting Serco Australia’s service obligations in managing the facility.

To reduce energy consumption within Acacia Prison a number of initiatives were developed:

  • Environmental and Energy Awareness Group
  • Develop an energy smart incentive scheme for both staff and prisoners Permaculture practices
  • Recycling

Serco Australia Chief Executive Officer David Campbell said the national recognition was due reward after several years of planning and implementation.

'The initiatives our team at Acacia have implemented range from direct recycling schemes to reduce landfill, permaculture programs to grow fresh foods for use in the kitchens and an innovative ozone laundry system and a compactor service to significantly reduce water usage,' Mr Campbell said.

'Our contribution to environmental sustainability highlights Serco’s wider commitment to the communities in which we live.'

It is estimated that the acquisition of a new 70kg capacity washing machine operating in conjunction with an Ozone System will save 434,000 litres of water each year. The machine also completely eliminates the hot water cycle, thus reducing the energy consumption required for heating.

In addition petrol driven vehicles have been phased out in favour of electric vehicles, resulting in a 60% reduction in on-site vehicle emissions.

Mr Campbell said both staff and prisoners had endorsed Acacia’s move towards sustainability through their actions.

'For example, Acacia Prison employs 65 prisoners in facility services who undertake a range of activities and processes that champion sustainability within the prison. This provides opportunities through education and vocational training to gain practical experience, empowering each prisoner for their return into the community and requiring them to take responsibility,' Mr Campbell said.