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Increased appetite for profit and environmental savings

Businesses in the NSW food manufacturing industry can take advantage of new energy saving programs to reduce the State’s greenhouse gas emissions and slash business power use.

All members of the food industry are invited to take part in the programs. The first, is a $20 million Sustainability Advantage Energy Saver program, helping larger NSW businesses become more energy efficient and save significantly on electricity costs.

Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW (DECC) manager of business partnerships, David Trewin, said that this initiative builds on the successful Sustainability Advantage Program but adds a stronger focus on energy efficiency.

A new module has been introduced called Sustainability Advantage Energy Saver that will provide medium to large businesses with matched funding for energy audits and technical advice to deliver more efficient use of electricity.

“Sustainability Advantage, even through it’s a module that focuses more broadly on resource efficiency, has already helped 230 organisations to save close to 6,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases and $1.6 million in electricity bills in 18 months to 30 June, 2008,” said Trewin.

A smorgasbord of Australia’s biggest household food and beverage brands are already seeing profits and environmental savings since joining the Sustainability Advantage Program.

An example can be seen in Rockdale Beef, which has saved 300 megawatts of electricity and 300GJ of gas from improved boiler and compressor efficiency.

“Some of the ways Sustainability Advantage members achieved these energy savings were simply through upgrading compressed air, boiler and refrigeration systems and installing new low energy equipment, with no cost initiatives.”

Trewin said that total energy savings could be substantial for the NSW food manufacturing industry – one of the largest industries in the State’s manufacturing sector, and worth $34 billion to the NSW economy. “The new Energy Saver module will provide a big boost to the support we can provide to businesses,” he explained.

To take part in Energy Saver, the medium to large businesses have to be a part of the broader Sustainability Advantage Program. Sustainability Advantage helps organi-sations look at their entire operation to reduce the use of raw material and water, and improve the management of waste.

Inghams Enterprises group environment manager, Julia Seddon, said that the Sustainability Advantage had been a powerful catalyst for positive change and a shift in direction for Inghams.

“DECC provided high quality consultants and advice, and the support has been invaluable. The program has led to increased awareness, established informal relationships and increased understanding. The relationship with DECC has been mutually beneficial in achieving positive outcomes,” said Seddon.

A second option, the Small Business Energy Efficiency Program, will support smaller businesses spending less than $20,000 a year on electricity by providing support funding for energy assessments and retrofits.

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