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16 November 1999
Using cleaner and greener forms of transport can save money and benefit the environment, a Sydney architectural firm has found after joining the Federal Government's Natural Heritage Trust Smogbusters program.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone MP, today released figures detailing time, money, health and environmental benefits for Bligh Voller Nield, the first Sydney business to join the Smogbusters Way to Work scheme.
"Vehicle emissions are the major contributor to urban air pollution in Australia," Dr Stone said today at the launch of the Green Transport Manual.
"In addition to the environmental stress, smog contributes to a number of everyday health problems such as asthma attacks, breathing difficulties and other respiratory illnesses."
"By joining the Smogbusters Way to Work program, Sydney businesses have an opportunity to improve their profitability, public image, employee health and the environment."
A survey of travelling options has been produced by Smogbusters as part of a Green Transport Manual.
The Green Transport Manual identifies ways for commuters to save money and time by walking, cycling, scooting and catching public transport along with recommendations about courier use, e-mail and working from home.
In five out of six sites regularly travelled to by Bligh Voller Nield Architects (BVN), walking, cycling, scooting or catching buses or trains is cheaper and faster than, or the same as, using taxis or driving, the figures show.
BVN is the first Sydney company to join Smogbusters and begin to use transport more efficiently.
Neil Hansen, Principal Architect with BVN said that as architects for the Olympic Tennis Centre, the firm was already involved in green initiatives.
"We know that walking, cycling and catching the bus and train is good for the environment, and we are keen to see the possibilities for increasing staff satisfaction and reducing our company's overheads."
Smogbusters is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government through its $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust and Conservation Councils in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Smogbusters is a three year program with a budget of $300,000 per year.
"Through the Natural Heritage Trust, the Federal Government is helping businesses and communities, in the city and country, live and work sustainably in their natural environment," Dr Stone said.
"There are so many different ways families and commuters in major metropolitan cities can help to protect the environment. As well as exploring green transport options, recycling, using alternate energy at home use like solar power or planting a tree can make a big difference."
The program aims to raise community awareness about the health effects of car emissions and promoting a reduction in car use. Transport emissions account for almost one-fifth of Australia 's greenhouse gas levels.
For more information visit the Smogbusters website at: www.smogbusters.infoxchange.net.au or call Christine Lawrence, Smogbusters project Coordinator on 02 9279 2499.
Nicole Johnston, Dr Stone's Office, 02 6277 2016 or 0419 219 415
Christine Laurence, Smogbusters Project Coordinator, 02 9279 2499 or 0414 630 157