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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

24 June 2004

Industry treads a better environmental footprint

Australia's crop production and animal health industry has proved its environmental credentials by significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions, its use of electricity, natural gas and water over the past three years.

Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Heritage, today launched Avcare's (National Association for Crop Production and Animal Health) third Industry Public Environment Report. The report shows an industry that has tackled the hard questions and made huge advances.

"Avcare members represent manufacturers and producers of chemicals for crop protection, animal health and biotechnology products," Dr Stone said.

"They represent around 85 per cent of the Australian crop production and animal health market in terms of sales and employ over 2,200 people. Today, more than half the Avcare member companies have an environment policy.

"In the past three years Avcare members have cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent, energy use by almost 40 per cent and water use by 17 per cent.

"The industry has reduced its environmental footprint at the manufacturing point and I commend them on this significant progress.

"They have also recycled around 6,000 tonnes of steel and plastic from landfill as part of the drumMuster program.

"Australia's agriculture aims to be world best as a clean green food and fibre producer. Avcare's work is helping farmers build this reputation.

"Avcare members' work to protect the environment and reduce resource use within the sector is an example of real leadership and success."

The report marks the completion of Avcare's three-year Eco-efficiency Agreement, a partnership approach used by the Australian Government and business to achieve the common goals of improved efficiency and ecological sustainability.

"The Government provided funding of $121,440 to help Avcare promote eco-efficiency and its benefits to its members, develop a set of industry-wide environmental performance indicators and publish annual environment reports," Dr Stone said.

"This report allows the public to monitor the industry's environmental performance over time and also provides the industry with the opportunity to target future improvements in environmental performance.

"Australian agriculture faces many environmental challenges, and it is becoming increasingly important for all businesses within the sector to incorporate environmental measures into their mainstream business practices to ensure both the economic and environmental sustainability of their industry."

Commonwealth of Australia