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Bickford’s Australia focus on sustainability

Businesses both large and small are recognising the need to integrate sustainability as a core business strategy. Bickford’s Australia, best known for its range of Traditional Cordials, has begun focusing on reducing harm to the environment as a direct result of how they conduct their business.

Initially established as a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Adelaide in 1839, Bickford’s has grown and evolved into a leading edge premium beverage manufacturer, producing a diverse portfolio of domestic and international products from a super fruit juice range to carbonated soft drinks, plain and flavoured water, coffee essence and milkshake syrups.

With capacity to label, fill and package high volumes of bottles, Bickford’s has recognised the need to take active steps to manage the company’s environmental footprint. In-depth analysis of key business units identified a range of areas, which are now being proactively managed to reduce impact to the environment.

This has allowed Bickford’s to implement improvement processes and procedures specifically related to the two major resources used in their manufacturing processes, water and energy. Bickford’s commitment to sustainable development required implementation of an environmental system that covers current environmental considerations, sustainability, waste reduction, conservation and recycling. They now have a dedicated conservation committee, which meets regularly to discuss targets, measure performance, raise awareness internally and externally and provide initiatives for further improvements.

As part of their commitment to sustainability Bickford’s:

• Identify and manage environmental impacts in key areas including packaging, manufacturing and head office buildings.

• Minimise waste-to-landfill, waste water discharges and greenhouse gas emissions.

• Observe strict conservation principles for water, energy and natural resources.

• Employ environmental considerations towards product stewardship.

• Coach and train environmental management commitments to all staff.

• Aim for World’s Best Practice through the alignment of systems to ISO 14001.

Regularly monitor, report and improve on environmental performances in water usage, energy usage, gas usage, waste water, solid waste & recycling quantities

Bickford’s Quality and Environmental Coordinator Liz Tossell says “the passion we share for our brands extends to sustainability within our workplace and the activities we undertake.”

“We are proud of the steps we are taking and the efficiencies and improvements we are making. It’s an ongoing process and one that we do, and all other businesses should, take very seriously.”

By strictly following their structured environmental system, Bickford’s has recently been able to achieve:

• Improved efficiency of their state of the art reverse osmosis process to achieve significant savings in water usage.

• The reverse osmosis technology is a highly effective purification process which removes impurities such as bacteria from water.

• Implementation of energy efficient lighting and lighting timers to reduce energy usage by 70 Gigajoules per Kilolitre from August 2009 to August 2010.

• Reduced waste water by 40%.

• Improvement in their National Packaging Covenant report to 3.9 out of 5 in 2010.

Integrating sustainability into the business model not only improves resource efficiencies and reduces a company’s environmental impact, but also provides an avenue to gain competitive advantages and enhanced business profitability.

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