Environment industries archive
Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.
Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.
The WA Sustainable Industry Group (WA SIG) launched the WA Cleaner Production Statement to involve a wide range of industry, government, professional and other non-governmental organisations in promoting and implementing Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency in Western Australia. Signatories to the Statement commit to develop and implement an action plan for advancing Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency in their respective operations and among their constituencies. In the first 18 months after its launch, 77 organisations became Signatory to this innovative Code of Practice, including State and Local government organisations, businesses, industry associations, community and professional organisations and tertiary education institutions. Through the WA Cleaner Production Statement, the WA SIG has been able to put Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency firmly on the agenda of industry and government.
In Western Australia, Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency only entered the political agenda in the last 1990's. Unlike most other States and Territories, no Cleaner Production demonstrations had been conducted in the mid 1990's. The WA Department of Environmental Protection had prepared a draft Waste Reduction and Recycling strategy in 1997, but this was never finalised nor implemented. Many in industry were of the opinion that there was no role for government to encourage or mandate Cleaner Production as business in its competitive drive would have exhausted cost effective Cleaner Production opportunities.
A number of parallel initiatives converged in 1998 and lead to the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production (funded through the WA Waste Management and Recycling Fund) and Australia's first professorial chair in Cleaner Production at Curtin University of Technology (sponsored by Wesfarmers CSBP Limited). The Centre jointly delivered an Eco-Efficiency Workshop with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in May 1999. Industry, government and community participants in this workshop felt the need for an ongoing forum for sharing practical information on Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency. This planted the seeds for the Western Australian Sustainable Industry Group (WA SIG).
The Western Australian Sustainable Industry Group (WA SIG) works to improve the understanding of sustainable development in Western Australia, particularly the business opportunities it presents. The Group encourages the application of Cleaner Production, Eco-Efficiency and sustainability-driven innovation to improve the contribution of business to a clean and competitive Western Australia. The Group provides a platform for networking and learning from best practice, for business, engineering, environmental and educational professionals employed in industry, State and local government and tertiary education or representing industry, professional or community organisations. Established in 1999, the WA Sustainable Industry Group is now a member of the Regional Network of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) (www.wbcsd.org) and Signatory to the International Declaration on Cleaner Production administered through the Division of Industry, Technology and Economics of the United Nations Environment Programme (www.unepie.fr).
The WA SIG operates as a network of professionals. The WA SIG is convened and facilitated through the Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production, Curtin University of Technology under the direction of a multi-stakeholder Steering Committee.
Members of the WA SIG Steering Committee are (November 2002):
Communication is via a fortnightly newsletter, biannual meetings and, since 2001, an annual WA Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency Roundtable. Participants also have the opportunity to participate in 'learning-by-sharing' activities (workshops, seminars and site visits), and to become a Signatory organisation to the WA Cleaner Production Statement.
The number of participants in WA SIG has increased remarkably from 40 participants in July 1999 to 340 participants by November 2002. The largest proportion of participants is from the industry sector (35%), followed closely by the government sector (31%) - see Figure 1.
Codes of Practice are commonly used to define and mainstream industry best practice in areas as diverse as product quality, process safety, environmental management, etc. Starting point is the definition of best practice, which can be done in terms of operational performance (specific technologies and their required minimum operational performance) or in terms of management performance (the management and information systems and incentives that drive the organisation to achieving and improving best practice). A great variety of models exist for management and review of Codes of Practice. Organisations can commit voluntary to adhere to a Code of Practice, or do so as prerequisite for membership of an industry associations. Implementation can be reviewed on the basis of self-declarations or via independently verified audits.
Codes of Practice are now a common tool for promoting Eco-Efficiency. Well-known examples of Australian environmental codes of practice with embedded Eco-Efficiency elements are for instance the Responsible Care Program (Plastics And Chemicals Industries of Australia), Code of Environmental Management (Minerals Council of Australia) and Greensmart (Housing Industry Association). Unlike these Codes of Practice, the WA Cleaner Production Statement sought to provide explicit focus on Eco-Efficiency (instead of dealing with it as part of a larger environment or even sustainable development mandate) and be applicable across industry sectors (to foster cross-pollination of ideas and opportunities between industry sectors). More information about Codes of Practice.
In December 1999, the WA Department of Environmental Protection invited the WA Sustainable Industry Group to advise on the development of a WA Cleaner Production Strategy. Participants in the WA SIG felt that because Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency are in first instance business opportunities, they cannot be regulated by government, and should be promoted through industry, government and professional channels. The WA SIG therefore pursued a different course of action, through an innovative code of practice seeking partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders to promote and implement Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency for a clean and competitive Western Australia. The WA Cleaner Production Statement was developed through internal and external consultation. This Statement presents a vision of a clean and competitive Western Australia, achieved through collaboration between industry, state and local government, professional and community organisations, and the education sector.
|November 1999||Department of Environmental Protection requests WA SIG input to WA Cleaner Production Strategy.|
|June 2000||WA SIG recommends a multi stakeholder approach to Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency promotion in WA.|
|August 2000||WA SIG submits the draft WA Cleaner Production Statement to the Minister for the Environment for consideration and endorsement.|
|January 2001||Minister for the Environment launches the WA Cleaner Production Statement for public comment.|
|May 2001||WA SIG establishes Register of Signatories and the Minister for the Environment officiates the inaugural signing ceremony.|
|November 2001||WA SIG opens register of signatories to individual businesses and service providers, and the Minister for the Environment officiates the 2nd signing ceremony.|
|June 2002||WA SIG presents first year review of the WA Cleaner Production Statement, and the Minister for the Environment officiates the 3rd signing ceremony. Implementation Guidelines are also launched at the ceremony.|
|November 2002||The Minister for the Environment officiates the 4th signing ceremony.|
The Statement has been modelled on the example of the International Declaration on Cleaner Production of the United Nations Environmental Programme (www.unepie.fr). The WA Cleaner Production Statement is a Statement of Intent calling on industry, government, business, community and professional stakeholders to consider Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency seriously and to act accordingly. The Statement encourages:
The WA Cleaner Production Statement with explanatory notes and implementation guidelines can be viewed on the WA SIG web site at: http://cleanerproduction.curtin.edu.au/sig/sig_pub/cp_statement.pdf
The Statement was launched for Public Consultation in January 2001. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, and the final version was therefore released in May 2001. From then on, WA SIG invited stakeholders in WA to become signatories to the Cleaner Production Statement. Becoming a Signatory reflects the organisation's general endorsement of the Cleaner Production Statement, and the organisation's commitment to undertake activities that foster the uptake of Cleaner Production among its constituency.
An organisation becomes Signatory to the WA Cleaner Production Statement by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the WA SIG. The MoU calls for the development of an Action Plan, to be completed within six months of becoming a Signatory, and an annual progress report.
|Signatory Commitments||WA SIG Commitments|
|Figure 2: Signatories by Organisation Type (Status November 2002: n = 77)|
The Hon Dr Judy Edwards, Minister for Environment, WA, opened the Register of Signatories to the Statement on 24 May 2001. By November 2002, the Register had grown to 77 Signatories, compromising: 24 State and Local Government agencies; 13 industry associations; 22 industry or service providers; 10 professional and community organisations and 8 tertiary education providers.
Through the WA Cleaner Production Statement, the WA SIG has been able to engage organisations who were previously unaware of Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency concepts. The parties are now working together on the promotion and implementation of these concepts. Simultaneously, organisations that were aware of Cleaner Production and were carrying out activities are now better equipped in focussing their attention on these activities by recording it in their action plans.
Organisations have found that there is better coordination of Cleaner Production initiatives though the platform provided by WA SIG.
New initiatives are also being identified and explored by organisations now that they have access to Cleaner Production information, as well as assistance from the Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production to identify and implement such initiatives.
More strategic support is being noticed within the organisations as the action plans are recognised and signed off by senior management.
An organisation that becomes Signatory to the to the WA Cleaner Production Statement has six months to develop an action plan. This action plan must outline the specific activities that will promote and implement Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency over the remaining 18 months of the initial 2-year commitment.
The action plan format requires the Signatory to provide a brief description of its organisation, commitment, plan, constituencies, objectives and a list of Cleaner Production initiatives. The initiatives require a program title, the constituencies targeted, outcome indicators, the commencement and finishing date, and the person responsible for the program. Finally it contains a brief statement on the organisation's way forward and is signed by or on behalf of the CEO.
|Alcoa World Alumina Australia||
|Tiwest Pigment Plant||
|St John of God Health Care, Subiaco||
|Housing Industry Association||
|Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council||
|Curtin University of Technology||
|Australian Conservation Foundation||
Organisations have the opportunity to increase resource efficiency and to minimise and/or prevent wastes and emissions being generated in the production, distribution and use of goods and services. They also have the opportunity to improve their environmental performance and to reduce costs.
The WA SIG assists the Signatory in the development of an Action Plan by providing the Signatory with a primary contact person and giving support for the activities included in the Signatory's Action Plan in the form of printed information, advice and other forms of assistance (as resources allow). WA SIG also offers to compile a case study of the successful programs/projects conducted by the Signatory, and will publicly recognise the Signatory for its support and actions related to the Cleaner Production Statement.
Signatory organisations are required to have more than 25 staff, or alternatively, have a large outreach to member organisations. This creates a barrier for small organisations and individuals to become Signatories.
Many organisations find it difficult to submit action plans within the 6-month time frame after becoming a Signatory. The most common difficulty for government departments was the restructure of the machinery of government, implemented by the Gallop Government, with the merging of organisations and changes in staff positions. Other organisations have needed different levels of management to approve the plan before the CEO could sign off on it, hence delaying the process. Most organisations that were unable to submit their action plans on time have either submitted a draft plan to WA SIG for comment, or have actively carried out Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency initiatives - such as participating in Cleaner Production training to assist with the development of their action plan. The workload of individuals within some organisations has also prevented them from becoming signatories. Having to develop an action plan and implement the initiatives has been a concern for some organisations - who already feel that they are at their maximum work load capacity.
New Implementation Guidelines were launched at the second State Cleaner Production and Eco-Efficiency Roundtable, held in June 2002, allowing current signatories to continue as a signatory after the first two years of their MoU expiring. The guidelines also allows for organisations to be removed from the register of Signatories if obligations are not met under the MoU, for example not submitting an action plan within a reasonable time frame. A new category of 'Associates' was also announced in the Implementation Guidelines, which have stricter guidelines and criteria than that of becoming a Signatory. The Associates category also provides recognition of individuals and small businesses that contribute to the WA Cleaner Production Statement. Large organisations can also become Associates if they report quarterly Eco-Efficiency ratios for their operations.
Discussions are taking place regarding implementing Sustainability Covenants in Western Australia, and the WA Cleaner Production Statement could be seen as a first step towards implementing these covenants if they are introduced in W A.
Executive Secretary - WA SIG
C/- Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production
Curtin University of Technology
GPO Box U1987
PERTH WA 6845
Phone: (08) 9266 4519
Fax: (08) 9266 4811
Implementation Date: 1999 to 2002
Case developed by the Centre of Excellence in Cleaner Production (Curtin University of Technology)
Last modified: January 2003