A Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW (DECC) initiative helping businesses to achieve a competitive environmental advantage is celebrating its first anniversary.
The Sustainability Advantage program currently provides 155 small to medium and large companies, including household names such as Ramsay Health Care, Inghams Enterprises and De Bortoli Wines, with a framework to keep their environmental performance ahead of the pack.
The program which began in November 2006 involves businesses working through a series of flexible projects chosen from a range of modules including:
- Vision, Commitment and Planning
- Environmental Risk and Responsibility
- Resource Efficiency
- Supply Chain Management
- Staff Engagement
- External Stakeholder Engagement
- Climate Change.
The program incorporates clusters of businesses, based on region, industry or similar supply chains, which are formed by councils or industry groups to provide companies with similar characteristics with networking opportunities and the ability to progress through the program at the same time.
One such cluster of 10 businesses is being facilitated by Marrickville Council in Sydney's Inner West, where consumer watchdog, CHOICE is participating in the Sustainability Advantage program.
Norm Crothers, Deputy CEO of CHOICE explained that while CHOICE had already identified the need to make improvements in the area of sustainability through its social responsibility action plan, participating in the Sustainability Advantage program has provided the business with the 'know-how' and focus to set and prioritise more specific goals and outcomes in this area.
'In the past few months, we have refined our environmental vision and goals, and developed a clearer idea of the techniques available to help us achieve our aims, such as waste audits, user surveys and paper usage audits,' he said.
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