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The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
6 December 2001
Australia's largest manufacturing sector reaches a milestone in environment management today with the release of its first public environment report.
"The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC)'s Environment Report 2001 is a significant document as it is the first public environment report to be made under an Eco-Efficiency Agreement with the Commonwealth," said Federal Environment Minister Dr David Kemp.
"I congratulate the council on taking this important step towards establishing itself as a leader in environment management and sustainable development."
The report details the environmental performance and management practices of the council's member companies. Based on data collected in 1993, 1996 and 2001, it is a snapshot of the water and energy use of the industry and the steps companies have taken to manage waste and reduce the impact of packaging.
"The report identifies both achievements and opportunities for improvement for AFGC companies," Dr Kemp said.
"For example, there have been significant environmental gains in the areas of water management, with more than half of the food and grocery companies surveyed indicating a significant reduction in waste water.
"But while companies that are signatories to the National Packaging Covenant between industry and governments are making progress in reducing packaging waste, most companies are still not stipulating Covenant membership or other environmental standards from suppliers."
The report was produced with the assistance of the Commonwealth Government, under the council's Eco-Efficiency Agreement with Environment Australia.
"By encouraging their members to monitor and report on water and energy use and the waste they produce, the AFGC is advocating Eco-Efficiency - the efficient use of resources which has both economic and environmental benefits," Dr Kemp said.
The Commonwealth is working to promote Eco-Efficiency within a range of industries. Twenty-one Agreements have been signed, including with the Property Council - Victorian Division, Avcare, and the Australian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
"I look forward to other industry associations following the AFGC's lead and producing public environment reports under the agreements in the near future." Dr Kemp said.
6 December 2001
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400