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Business Sustainability: A cleaner production approach to small business management

Student Manual

Environment Australia
October 2000
ISBN 0642547149

Business Sustainability - Preliminary Assessment Worksheets

Business Description

Business Name:

Manager's Name:

Address and phone number of business premises:

Nature of the business:

Main products manufactured or services provided:

Main markets (who buys the products/services):

Brief history of business:

No. of employees:

Annual labour bill
(needed to calculate cost of production):

Annual turnover (approx., needed to calculate relative costs):

- dollars:

- quantity of output(s):

- how are these output quantities measured?:

- business's working days/hours:

What aspects of product or service quality are most important to the business' success?


What aspects of the production or service process(s) are most critical to these quality aspects? (Note that the cleaner production assessment will not necessarily concentrate on these aspects or processes).




Previous assessments and waste-reduction programs

Have there been any previous surveys/audits/assessments involving wastage of energy & materials in the business? If so, give details. (These may be a useful source of data and ideas).



Have there been any programs within the business to reduce waste? If so, what was done and what was the outcome? (These may also be a useful source of data and ideas).





Site and Operational Area Layouts

Sketch business property showing buildings and any outside operations. Use separate sheet or copy drawings if available.









Sketch the layout of operations within the building(s). Use separate sheet or copy drawings if available.








Annual Usage

Obtain quantities and costs of the major process inputs over past 12 months (or a recent 12-month period). Raw material purchase records and utility bills may be a useful source of data. For all data, record the source and method of calculation.


Quantity of purchases

- 1 year from:


Cost of purchases

- 1 year from:


Source of Data - where the data was obtained (eg. invoices, accounts records, internal business report, Manager's estimate).





Other fuel:


Other fuel:




Raw Material 1:


Raw Material 2:


Raw Material 3:


Business Outputs

The "unit of production" is a measure of output of the business. For a manufacturer, it might be amount of product measured in kg, tonnes, litres or number of pieces. For a service provider, it might be jobs completed or chargeable hours. Keep the number of different units of production to a minimum - find common measures of production where possible.

Unit of Production

No. of units of production produced in 1 year (from: to: )

Source of Data


Annual Wastage

The data for the first three columns can be entered now. The information in columns 4-6 will be entered after the input/output diagrams and usage maps are constructed (later in the preliminary assessment).

When completing the last three columns, collect data where it is readily available, or use estimates. If there are some gaps in the table, don't worry, these will be filled in during the detailed study (if needed at all).

Record all data (and the source of the data) used to calculate the information entered into this table.

Waste Material

Quantity of waste material produced

Cost of treatment, transport & disposal of waste material 1

Content of otherwise-useable raw material or product 2

Value of otherwise-useable raw material or product 3

Sum of Costs 4


(1 year)

(1 year)

(1 year)

(1 year)

(1 year)


Waste 20L detergent drums

100 drums


steel drums

resale value $200

($2 each)



residual detergent in drums (100 mL/drum)

$40 (detergent

costs $4/L)



1Also include any other waste-related costs such as storage, handling licence fees, etc.
2"Otherwise-useable material" is material in the waste that, if it were able to be physically separated from the waste, could be reused (eg. ingredients in waste dough from a bakery or unused acid in spent acid waste.
3Subtract from this cost any moneys currently received from the sale of this waste.
4Simply add up the costs across the rows for each waste material.

Main Processes

What are the business' main processes?








Excisting Performance Indicators

What are the performance indicators currently used by the business? Do they use performance indicators for particular processes?(Performance indicators are the business' measures of success. Profit level and turnover are common performance indicators, but there are usually secondary indicators, eg. usage of a particular raw material, equipment up-time, rework or scrap rate, % chargeable hours (for a service business), or waste levels.)




Are levels of wastage, level of rework or level of scrap monitored? How are these levels measured?




Flow Diagrams

Develop flow diagrams for each process showing all unit processes (use separate sheets). Consider activities from receipt of materials to delivery of finished product.




Input/Output Diagrams

For each of the unit processes in the above flow diagrams, identify the main raw material, water and energy inputs, and product and waste outputs. (Quantitative information is not needed at this stage, but may be required in the detailed study).Remember that for every input there must be a corresponding output; account for all washwater, wastes and emissions.

Inputs: Raw materials




           Process Step


Outputs: Product

Solid waste

Liquid waste

Gaseous waste

Usage Maps

Construct usage maps for all major inputs and wastes (use separate sheets). Where the data can be easily obtained, assign quantities (or proportions) to the usage map; estimates are acceptable, but should be noted as such. Remember to record the source of all data and estimates. The input/output diagrams should be a useful reference when constructing usage maps.




Return to the Annual Wastage Table and fill out Columns 4-6.



Then review the completed Preliminary Assessment Worksheets and include any additional information in the earlier sections of the Worksheets that has come to light later in the preliminary assessment.