Complaint handling is not a carbon-intensive activity. However, the TIO shares the same environmental challenges that any other office in Australia would: reducing waste, using energy more efficiently and increasing our recycling.
In 2010-11, we took more steps to reduce our impact on the environment:
In 2011-12 the TIO will further formalise our efforts to reduce the organisation’s impact on the environment within a corporate social responsibility policy.
In 2010-11 we continued to use measures to avoid printing and sending letters or faxes to consumers and service providers. In the past, we relied heavily on faxing details of complaints to service providers and posting letters to consumers.
Several years ago, prompted by a request from a service provider, we began a trial to transition all our communication with service providers to email, including the notification of when the complaint was lodged and the notes relevant to that complaint. We compared costs of paper, envelopes and time spent by staff before and after the email trial.
The results of that comparison proved that there were significant savings in stationery and postage and no impact on the time our staff spent in our dealings. Most importantly, our staff generally agreed that this approach was the most environmentally responsible.
Based on the success of this trial, we rolled out an email communication process that will eventually include all members of the scheme. By May 2011, we had moved to email-only communication with the ten service providers that account for the majority of our dealings and their subsidiaries. The rollout will continue in 2011-12.