Auditing of Commercial Premises

Want to save money and the environment?

Environmental management is the key to achieving a sustainable future. Businesses in the North Sydney Council area are always trying new strategies to improve environmental performance across a variety of business sectors.

The environmental audits carried out by North Sydney Council on the industries below aim to ensure their practices comply with legislation and Codes of Practice.

Council is authorised under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 to ensure industry procedures are carried out in an environmentally satisfactory manner.

For information on how to manage the potential environmental concerns in your business and improve environmental performance, visit the links below.

Find out how commercial sectors can increase net profit, improve staff retention, reduce environmental risks and avoid financial and court-applied penalties.



The Marina and boating industry covers a wide range of operations. The industry has the potential to impact on the environment because of its waterfront location, activities, the raw materials and chemicals used and the waste generated. In addition, the industry depends on clean waterways for people to enjoy their boating and fishing. For further information on how to prevent pollution contact the Boating Industry Association of NSW.

Implementing strategies in the initial stages of work practise will encourage environmentally satisfactory procedures. To minimise the risk of a potential pollution incident the following areas should be addressed:

  • marinas and jetties
  • slipway and hardstand
  • buildings and site management
  • workshop
  • hazardous materials and waste storage
  • noise

The following authorities are available for further information:

Energy NSW website

Business and industry | NSW Climate and Energy Action

Boating Industry Association of NSW


Dry Cleaners

Drycleaning is the process of washing fabrics with liquid other than water. Drycleaning solvents dissolve oil and fats which are not water soluble. 

Perchloroethylene (perc) is the principle synthetic solvent used by professional drycleaners and is a chemical that is classified as a hazardous waste under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. This chemical is widely used throughout the dry cleaning industry but it is a requirement that only a licensed trade waste company can collect waste perc or byproducts. Dry cleaners and other industries are required to keep hazardous chemicals in a bunded area.

The Drycleaning Institute of Australia takes prime responsibility for promoting a positive image of their sector. It offers various training courses such as perc licensing and seminars that encourage environmentally satisfactory practices.

Drycleaning Institute of Australia (NSW)

Petrol Stations

NSW has approximately 2600 service stations that sell 6000 megalitres of fuel a year, which equates to 6000 Olympic size swimming pools. Petroleum and other liquid fuels such as diesel are considered hazardous chemicals and if a spill occurred the end result could have a detrimental affect on the environment. Chemicals that are stored and transported onto petrol stations have the potential to leak or spill and pollute land and waters. This pollution can enter groundwater and stormwater systems where it can adversely impact wildlife and plants. In order to reduce the level of risk surrounding hazardous liquid chemicals the following areas are audited for control procedures:

  • forecourt design, maintenance and operation
  • fuel deliveries
  • emergency fuel spills
  • underground fuel tanks
  • workshop
  • waste management

Contact the OEH information centre


Smash Repairers

The smash repairers auditing programme by North Sydney Council strives to provide environmental guidance and information to increase environmental awareness in the industry and help manage the potential environmental issues. The key environmental issues for smash repairers include the following:

  • stormwater management
  • trade wastewater
  • waste management
  • hazardous materials
  • air quality management
  • noise management

Motor Traders' Association NSW have also developed The Green Stamp National Eco-efficiency Program.

Green Stamp National Eco-efficiency Program


Golf Courses

Environmental awareness in relation to golf courses has expanded. Regular auditing of its Golf Course by North Sydney Council ensures that practices are at a standard that complies with legislation and strives to be environmentally friendly. The OEH and other stakeholders such as the Australian Golf Course Superintendants Association developed a reference point for Golf Courses to action environmentally sustainable practices. The following areas of Golf Course management have been identified and addressed in "Improving the Environmental Management of New South Wales Golf Courses".

  • environmental principles
  • water management
  • integrated pest management
  • pesticide storage, handling and application
  • fertiliser practices
  • grass selection
  • soil management
  • native vegetation and wetlands
  • clubhouse and facility management
  • machinery operations
  • education and training


Next Steps

Clubs NSW and the NSW Govt always seek to develop further environmental strategies.

Clubs NSW

Energy Saver: registered clubs toolkit (2013)