Sustainability 2020 to 2022

ASCIA has been operating in a sustainable way over the past 30 years, to meet the needs of ASCIA members and the community, whilst ensuring that ASCIA’s operations are financially viable into the future. Whilst financial sustainability is particularly important to ASCIA in 2020-2021, due to the postponement of the ASCIA Conference until 2021, environmental sustainability is also a priority. ASCIA will continue working towards improving its sustainability, both environmentally and financially, whilst adapting its operations and priorities, to address global issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2015 the United Nations (UN) created 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which are the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for everyone in the world. ASCIA’s daily operations meet many of these SDGs as outlined below.

Good Health and Well-Being (UN SDG 3)

ASCIA addresses the growing burden of allergy and other immune diseases and contributes to community awareness, education and training of health professionals and the community, through:

  • Accessible, consistent and evidence based ASCIA online resources, education and training,
  • Research projects funded by AIFA grants.
  • Public health campaigns implemented by the National Allergy Strategy.
  • Access to specialist physicians, on the Locate a Specialist link on the ASCIA website.

Promote Quality Education (UN SDG 4)

Since 2010 ASCIA has provided accessible, consistent and evidence based ASCIA online resources, education and training for health professionals, school teachers, early childhood education/care (ECEC), and the community. The main aim of providing inclusive and quality education about allergy, anaphylaxis and immunodeficiency for all is to improve the health and well-being of all Australians and New Zealanders. Financial support is required for ASCIA to continue providing free online services from 2021 onwards.

Affordable and Clean Energy (UN SDG 7)

Since 2013 the ASCIA office has been located in the Lifestyle Working Building Brookvale, which is a benchmark environmentally sustainable design (ESD), strata office building, the first of its kind to be built in Australia in 2008. The building uses electricity generated from solar panels, tank water captured off the building, and an energy efficient design that results in reduced energy costs (minimising the need for air conditioning). The ASCIA office was already configured in a design that is compliant with physical/social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Decent Work and Economic Growth (UN SDG 8)

The ASCIA Annual Conference has been the main source of income for ASCIA since 2006, so we have been reassessing our sustainability practices in order to ensure future welfare.

In doing so, ASCIA is ensuring that staffing is maintained at a sustainable level (current total is 4.5 FTE staff, (2.2 FTE for ASCIA and 2.3 FTE for National Allergy Strategy). ASCIA also contracts specialised services as required, including webmasters, conference organisers and graphic designers. The ASCIA CEO and Directors monitor the use of external contractors to ensure cost effectiveness and efficiency.

Sustainable Cities and Communities (UN SDG 11)

ASCIA is part of the Lifestyle Working Building community, which includes onsite recycling of all paper and plastic waste, composting of its green waste, and communal areas with green spaces.

Responsible Consumption and Production (UN SDG 12)

ASCIA is continuously working on responsible consumption of resources, and examples include:

  • Reuse of all office furniture purchased in 2013, in the 2019 office move.
  • Minimal use of printing, with increased use of VPN and cloud based software.
  • Electronic poster boards will be used from 2021 onwards at the ASCIA Annual Conference, which will reduce production and waste associated with printing and transporting of posters.

© ASCIA October 2020

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