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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

17 September 2000

Innovative Greenhouse Endorsement Applies Market Forces

The Australian government is encouraging industry to use the power of the market place to intensify the fight against greenhouse emissions.

Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, today announced 'Greenhouse Friendly/Greenhouse Free' - an endorsement for products with greenhouse emissions offset by projects financed by companies and approved by the Australian Greenhouse Office, Australia's lead agency on greenhouse matters.

"International research shows that 'green' companies have a big marketing edge with a very environmentally conscious public," Senator Hill pointed out.

The Chief Executive Officer of BP, Sir John Browne, confirmed BP would be the first company to commit to the new program in Australia. As part of its Clean Fuels strategy, BP will offset greenhouse emissions from use of its premium fuel, Ultimate, which is very low in particulate emissions. "The family car need no longer contribute to global warming," Sir John said.

Senator Hill said the endorsement program would begin in early 2001. He commended BP for being the first, saying he hoped many more companies would follow suit.

"Manufacturers of household appliances, car makers, and many others can enhance their environmental performance through this program; the public, by purchasing their goods, can contribute to reducing Australia's greenhouse emissions."

"'Greenhouse Friendly, Greenhouse Free' will provide two levels of product endorsement. The first, 'Greenhouse Friendly', will assure consumers who buy an endorsed product that a percentage - a minimum of 50 per cent and a maximum of 100 per cent - of the emissions caused by the use of their product will be offset through projects financed by the company. The 'Greenhouse Free' endorsement goes further, certifying that 100 per cent of the emissions from both the manufacture and use of the product have been offset.

Offset projects may include, tree planting, use of landfill methane for electricity, renewable energy projects, capture of fugitive emissions from mining and production activities, energy efficiency projects and many others that save greenhouse gases.

"I urge Australians to assist in greenhouse gas reduction by seeking out and using products from responsible companies bearing the 'Greenhouse Friendly/Greenhouse Free' endorsement," Senator Hill said.

Matt Brown (Senator Hill's Office) 02 6277 7640
Carol Bartley (Australian Greenhouse Office) 02 6274 1859 or 0412 994 800

Backgrounder: Greenhouse Friendly/Greenhouse Free: How it will work

Carol Bartley (Australian Greenhouse Office) 02 6274 1859 or 0412 994 800

Commonwealth of Australia