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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
4 December 2002
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today signed an Eco-Efficiency Agreement with the Electricity Supply Association of Australia (ESAA).
With a Commonwealth contribution of $83,600 and $125,100 provided by ESAA, the agreement commits the association and its members to a range of activities aimed at improving the eco-efficiency of its members.
"Eco-efficiency is essentially about doing more with less - using environmental resources more efficiently to deliver more products or services. By reducing environmental impacts and cutting waste, business operators can improve their productivity, adding even more value," Dr Kemp said
"ESAA has already started committing to activities under the agreement by producing eco-efficiency material and guidelines on eco-efficiency tools."
Under the eco-efficiency agreement signed today, ESAA will:
"There are dramatic financial and environmental savings for the electricity sector in striving for eco-efficiency," Dr Kemp said. "For example Western Australia's Muja Power Station, Western Power's largest station, has designed a facility to recycle all of its wastewater. As a result, Muja no longer discharges water into the Collie River Basin. It also draws much less water from the basin, saving enough water each day to fill 15 Olympic swimming pools.
"Examples like these show that eco-efficiency is not only about making incremental efficiency improvements in existing practices and processes. It should also stimulate creativity and innovation in the search for new ways of doing things."
For further information on eco-efficiency agreements, please visit the Environment Australia web site at: http://www.ea.gov.au/industry/eecp/agreements/index.html
Catherine Job: 02 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400
An Eco-Efficiency Agreement is a three-year, voluntary agreement between the Commonwealth and a peak or sectoral industry association.
Through the Agreement, an association and the Commonwealth agree to work together to promote Eco-Efficiency to the association's members.
Under the Agreement, an association undertakes to publicly commit to Eco-Efficiency, and develop an Action Plan for Eco-Efficiency for three years. The Action Plan may contain a range of elements, including:
Other Eco-Efficiency activities can be pursued through the Agreement. Examples of activities are: trialing or developing eco-efficiency tools such as Environment Management Systems, or Environmental Accounting, developing guidelines on environmental management for member companies, holding environmental awards, or the development of an Eco-Efficiency manual for members.
Funding support for activities in the association's Action Plan may also be provided and will be the subject of a separate Commonwealth contract. Precise contents of Agreements are flexible, and will be agreed between the Commonwealth and the association.
As a result of participating in the Eco-efficiency Agreements Program, these associations have made the following achievements:
Fish waste into fertilizer
New South Wales Seafood Industry Council (NSWSIC) is in the final stages of developing their Fish Waste Utilisation Project. This involves the fish waste (guts and skeletons) generated by the Sydney Fish Markets being returned to the Markets by retailers and converted into organic fertilizer. There is no certified organic fertilizer currently available in Australia so this product, created from a waste stream, is in high demand. This excellent example of eco-efficiency was developed in collaboration with the NSW EPA by the Eco-efficiency Officer employed at the Sydney Fish Markets under the NSWSIC Eco-efficiency Agreement.
Waste outputs changing to useful inputs
The Kwinana Economic Impact Study identified opportunities for companies within Western Australia's Kwinana Industrial Estate to share resources and reduce waste. Under their Eco-efficiency Agreement, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) provided significant input into this study, helping to identify where the waste outputs of some companies can become useful inputs for others. As this study is implemented over the next few years it is expected that significant quantities of waste will be diverted into useful product. For example, sulphur – a by-product of oil refining – can become a useful input to agricultural fertiliser.
First for ACT businesses
ACT Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACTRCCI) recently conducted a series of workshops for their members titled ‘Eco-business Seminars'. These seminars were the first of their kind to be held in the ACT and were well received by businesses looking for practical solutions to improve their environmental performance.
Environmental guidelines for NT mangos and hotels
Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NTCCI) has completed two new Codes of Practice for the mango and hotel industries. Previously these industries had no environmental guidelines at all, so these Codes will help managers of small to medium enterprises to identify environmental improvements in their daily operations and reduce their impact on the environment. Mango farmers can use their Code to reduce water, integrated pest management strategies, fertilizer and pesticide use, while the hotel industry can use their Code to reduce water consumption by installing dual flush toilets and cut power consumption by installing movement sensors to control lights.
Maximising environmental performance of commercial buildings
Property Council of Australia - Victorian Division has produced an Environmental Management System (EMS) for commercial buildings. This is the first time an EMS has been produced for this industry and it shows property developers, building managers and tenants of commercial buildings how to maximize environmental performance through energy, water and waste efficiencies. For builders can fit light and movements sensors to control lighting to reduce power use, and install dual flush toilets to reduce water consumption. Property developers can design solar passive building that will retain thermal energy more effectively, and reduce power use.
Public Environment Reports encourage more businesses
Avcare (National Association for Crop Production and Animal Health) produced a Public Environmental Report for 2001 that generated great interest in improving environmental performance within the industry and by suppliers. Avcare is using this momentum to get more members involved in the program, widening the network of businesses that stand to benefit from making environmental improvements. One current Avcare member, Nufarm Australia, has saved 470,000 containers from going to landfill over a three year period, through using recyclable and refillable containers.
Dr Kemp with Keith Orchison, Managing Director of ESAA.
Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp and Mr Keith Orchison, Managing Director of the Electricity Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) at the signing of the Eco-Efficiency Agreement between the Commonweath and ESAA.