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Media Release
The Hon Dr Sharman Stone
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray

27 February 2002

Canberra Business in for a Green Makeover

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, officially launched an Eco-Efficiency Agreement in Canberra today which aims to minimise resource use amongst the 1300 member businesses, saving money and reducing environmental impacts.

The ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry are adopting an innovative, economic and environmental efficiency program that has reduced C02 emissions at the Ayres Rock Resort at Uluru by 6000 tonnes, as well as delivering savings of $1,230,000.

"Being green need not push business into the red", Dr Stone said.

"In fact, the average rate of return for those industries involved in this program is 70%. Eco-efficiency agreements are saving money and reducing environmental impacts across a range of Australian industries including department stores, poultry farms and the tourist industry".

"Coles Myer, for example, are saving dollars by recycling and redesigning the 30 million coat hangers that previously were dumped from their stores each year. They estimate they now save $6 million per year in labour costs. Locally, the Hotel Kurrajong has implemented a program to reduce the amount of energy consumed by controlling heating and cooling in unoccupied guest rooms", Dr Stone said.

Sharman Stone said that Environment Australia provided a number of tools to business through Eco-Efficiency agreements that helped maximise profits and minimise environmental impacts.

"By conducting an environmental audit, implementing environmental management systems or looking at a particular products lifecycle, individual businesses can quickly judge where they can make changes to improve their bottom line and contribute to saving scarce resources".

"The Federal Government has contributed $55,000 to be matched 'in kind' by ACTCCI to run seminars and workshops to raise awareness of the benefits of becoming eco-efficient", Dr Stone said.

"1300 businesses across Canberra will have access to the latest information on how to produce more goods and services with less energy, fewer natural resources, and less waste and pollution".

Simon Frost 0419 495 468
Wednesday February 27th, 2002

Commonwealth of Australia