Major Victorian businesses agree to cut energy and water use
Victoria’s largest consumers of energy and water are expected to make big resource savings through the Brumby Government’s new Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans (EREP) program. The companies involved include a host of key food industry players.
Victoria’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, Gavin Jennings, said EREP is the first program of its type in Australia and more than 250 sites across Victoria had answered the call to reduce energy and greenhouse gases, water and waste generation by developing plans to cut resource use.
“These sites represent about 700 petajoules of energy consumption – around 45 per cent of the energy used in Victoria – and about 300 gigalitres of water consumption, which is equivalent to the annual water consumption of 1.5 million average Victorian households,” Mr Jennings advised.
Commercial and industrial sites using more than 100 terajoules of energy (equivalent to the energy use of around 5000 households) and/or 120 megalitres of water in 2006-07 were required to register with EPA’s EREP program. As a result participants are anticipated to save $85 million over the course of the next decade.
“EPA will work closely with all participants to help them develop EREP plans which will save their business money as well as helping the environment,” Mr Jennings said.
EREP participants come from a range of sectors including metals and chemicals manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing, shopping centres, metropolitan hospitals, universities and sporting facilities.
“EREP is helping secure a sustainable future for Victoria and I congratulate these organisations for the way in which they have embraced this program,” Mr Jennings said.
As an example, Chadstone Shopping Centre, with around 17 million visitors a year, was required to register for the EREP Program.
Chadstone Senior Operations Manager Chris Greenall said Chadstone had been working to reduce energy, water and waste through its sustainability strategy since 2003. “Through this strategy we are already delivering annual energy savings of around $300,000 and water savings of around $165,000,” Mr Greenall said. “We are excited about working on the EREP program as it has the flexibility to integrate our existing sustainability work and supports us in finding new ways to operate more sustainably and efficiently.”
EREP builds on the successful Industry Greenhouse Program (IGP). At the end of 2007, IGP had reportedly delivered annual greenhouse gas cuts of 1.23 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents and savings to business of $38.2 million each year, with a payback period of 20 months for the investment required to achieve these results.
A full list of the Victorian businesses and organisations that are currently developing EREP plans is available at: www.epa.vic.gov.au.