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

Australian Industry Achieving Cleaner, Greener Business


5 June 1997
(51/97)

Savings of millions of dollars a year, reduced energy consumption and enhanced company viability have all been features of a major cooperative program between the Commonwealth Government's Environment Australia and Australian industry.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says it's appropriate the results of the program should be announced on World Environment Day.

"The Cleaner Production Demonstration Project, involving ten companies, has shown that cleaner production not only reduces environmental impacts but makes good economic sense.

"We now have hard evidence that good environmental practice saves businesses time and money and helps drive further productive efficiencies.

"Between them these companies have made economic savings totalling millions of dollars and dramatically reduced environmental impacts through cutting water use and wastage, energy consumption, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and the production of solid wastes.

"Crucially, the project also showed that the solutions did not necessarily have to be expensive or complex. Individual measures ranged from ideas as simple as installing more efficient water nozzles to re-engineering some production processes.

"And importantly the solutions often came from the companies' own staff."

One company, timber manufacturer CSR Timber Products, achieved savings of more than $750,000 a year in improved productivity, reduced wood, paint and energy use by re-examining its processes. Measures such as reducing the speed of processing improved product quality, which led to savings in energy, time and raw materials.

The Environment Protection Group, which managed the project, has produced a range of materials to assist other companies follow the lead of those involved in the Cleaner Production Demonstration Project. These include an introductory brochure, a video and an operational manual.

The Government believes that Australian business can take a lead in reducing environmental impacts.

"These companies have shown in a very real way how to do that," Senator Hill said.

Media contact: Matt Brown, Senator Hill, 06 277 7640; 0419 693 515
Jim Cannon, Environment Australia, 06 274 1111

Commonwealth of Australia