The awards were made from material that would have otherwise gone to landfill
Businesses in the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program have reduced annual waste to landfill by 17,100 tonnes a year, saved 170 million litres of water and 13,000 tonnes of carbon pollution. In the process, they have saved a total of $7.5 million as well.
The Program helps organisations strengthen their environmental performance and implement projects that add business value. The thirteen organisations – ranging from a brick company to a TAFE institute – to achieve Bronze Partnership status were recognised for their commitment and achievements at a function held on World Environment Day (5 June).
The Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW (DECC) carefully planned the event to ensure it was as sustainable as possible. Even the awards presented to the recipients were made from materials recovered and turned into attractive plaques by Reverse Garbage in Marrickville.
The Bronze Partners have reduced their resource use and developed sustainability strategic goals, targets and priority actions – in turn reducing risk, lowering costs, improving productivity and enhancing the reputation of the business. There are three more levels of recognition – Silver, Gold and Platinum.
The Hon Carmel Tebbutt MP, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment presented the awards. "There are now more than 300 private, public and not-for-profit organisations participating in Sustainability Advantage," Ms Tebbutt said. "Together these organisations employ more than 80,000 people in NSW."
"Participants come from sectors as diverse as manufacturing, commercial property, building products, registered clubs, tourism, aged care and community services, wineries, and tertiary education."
"These businesses are working with us to improve their sustainability, while at the same time improving their bottom line," Ms Tebbutt said. "They are demonstrating that it is possible to act on climate change and to operate profitably."
When organising the recognition function, DECC considered factors such as travel, energy, waste, catering and material use to help reduce the environmental, social and financial impact of the event.
Visit DECC's Sustainability Advantage Program pages for more information.
Bronze Partners with Carmel Tebbutt MP, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment
These organisations were recognised for achieving Bronze Partnership status on World Environment Day, and are the first Sustainability Advantage members to do so.
- Converga, which provides business process outsourcing services, and has received an ISO 14001 EMS accreditation, conducted a Life Cycle Analysis comparison of paper versus digital invoicing and a greenhouse gas inventory.
- De Bortoli Wines, which re-uses all winery wastewater for irrigation, has increased productivity by up to 37 per cent on product lines, and saved over $350,000 from energy efficiency projects.
- Focus Press, a printing company that has introduced a zero waste policy and achieved an ISO 14001 accreditation.
- Inghams, a meat/poultry company that has halved its waste to landfill, increased recycling rates and reduced water use by up to 70 per cent.
- Koppers Australia, a producer of carbon black and carbon pitch and manufacturer of treated timber products, has reduced waste by 20 per cent and cut diesel usage per cubic metre of timber treated by 10 per cent.
- Ontera manufactures carpet and has developed a fully recyclable non PVC backing, as well as increasing recycling and reducing emissions and factory lighting.
- Marquis is a manufacturer of bathroom products that has reduced power (by 2500kW annually) and paper costs (30%), paint labour (35%), paint materials (25%) and waste to landfill (30%) while the business expanded.
- Rondo Building Services manufactures lighter gauge roll formed steel products, is ready for ISO 14001 accreditation, has reduced fork lift fuel consumption and diverts six cubic metres of paper and cardboard from landfill every week.
- Schindler, which supplies escalators and manufactures elevators, has reduced paper use by 59 per cent, and committed to donating $500,000 and 1,000 volunteer days per year to charitable organisations by 2010 and lowering their annual electricity use by 33 per cent.
- Sydney Markets Limited owns and operates fresh produce and community markets and has saved $2.5m on waste disposal since 2005 and expects to reduce water use by 30 per cent between 2008 and 2013.
- The TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute is ISO 14001 accredited and has achieved an annual 5 per cent reduction in electricity use, saving 934 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and $87,500.
- Tarkett is a commercial flooring manufacturer that is ISO 14001 accredited at all its manufacturing plants and has converted over 50 per cent of the company vehicle fleet to more fuel efficient options.
- The Austral Bricks Company manufactures clay bricks and pavers and has so far saved over 1,300 MWh of electricity and $110,000 in electricity costs from compressed air improvements.