Organisations in Australia are demanding more environmental reporting, driving suppliers to update and make mandatory environmental commitments and changes. This is a growing trend in the agricultural industry and supply chain in particular. Large companies such as Coles and Woolworths are seeking additional control and oversight, requiring their suppliers to help them meet their environmental targets.
Last week the Coles group announced a “together to zero” campaign, outlining a collaborative scheme with consumers and its supply chain to meet their emissions targets. The group announced plans to be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2025 and to cut operational emissions by 75% below FY20 levels by 2030.
Equilibrium is working with a number of suppliers in the agriculture and food manufacturing sectors to develop and implement sustainability programs, including Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
An EMS aims to implement a plan and system of environmental actions and targets which align with the company’s environmental policy and business objectives and extend all the way to a ground level approach. An EMS is a journey of continuous improvement (plan > do > check > act) and assists organisations to manage their environmental impacts through;
> Achieving and maintaining compliance with relevant environmental laws, standards and the company’s environmental commitment
>Establishing systematic risk management processes to identify and rectify environmental risks;
>Establish a required level or environmental performance within the groups corporate environment to prevent the occurrence of events that are likely to significantly impact the environment
>Enabling visibility and periodic evaluation of environmental targets and performance metrics for decision making
The movement towards corporate responsibility, the ambition of businesses to meet their environmental objectives and better business outcomes are increasingly seen as mutually inclusive.
The Clean Energy Regulator has announced a new initiative to publish an annual Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency report (CERT). The CERT report will detail the voluntary carbon offset processes undertaken by Australia’s major emitters. The report will be supported by the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) scheme, creating a streamlined approach and platform for reporting corporate emissions.
The CERT provides a framework to:
>Demonstrate the net position of participating NGER reporters’ annual energy and emissions report.
>Support business’ climate action claims, providing a trusted and independent resource.
>Promote voluntary participation in Australia’s carbon markets.
The CERT signifies that Australian companies are increasingly setting their own voluntary goals to reduce emissions. It reflects that the public, shareholders and supply-chain partners are increasingly interested in company’s tracking and transparency towards meeting corporate emission reduction and offsetting targets.
This CERT will assist companies in demonstrating their use of carbon offsets to meet their reduction commitments, and the increased visibility of corporate carbon offset purchases may increase demand for voluntary emission actions and targets.
Consultation is open for the Corporate Emissions Reduction Transparency Report and submissions can be emailed to CER-RETandEnergySection@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au.
The Commonwealth and State Governments currently have many programs to support businesses in improving their power usage and efficiency. The following grants provide either direct funding or credits for energy audits and programs to reduce emissions.
The Emissions Reduction Fund is open for all eligible Australian businesses wanting to reduce their carbon emissions. Participants in the scheme can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) for every tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent they store or avoid emitting by using new practices and technologies. These ACCUs can then be sold to generate income for your business.
New South Wales’ Energy Savings Scheme provides businesses with financial incentives to reduce their energy consumption by installing new equipment or modifying a current system. Savings will be converted into Energy Saving Certificates (ESCs) which are sold to an electricity retailer.
South Australia offers businesses and not-for-profit organisations the Resource Efficiency and Productivity (REAP) Grants. This program provides a 50% subsidy for resource efficiency and productivity assessments to consider circular economy options including electricity efficiency. An additional $10,000 is available on successful completion of an assessment to kick-start implementation of the recommendations.
Funding of $150,000 is available for Tasmanian Businesses to carry out energy audits on business operations and buildings in the state through the Power$mart Businesses program.
ACT has two grant programs: The Next Generation Energy Storage (Next Gen) Program and ACTSmart Business Energy and Water Program which provide businesses with rebates when installing battery storage systems or upgrading to more energy-efficient and water-efficient technologies and equipment.
The Smarter Business Solutions Program offers grant funding incentives of up to $20,000 for Northern Territory enterprises to adopt efficient, innovative technologies and best practices that will reduce their energy, water, waste and material costs.
If your business is interested in further information on any of these grants, or would like assistance completing an application, please contact the Equilibrium team on (03) 9372 5356 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to stay up to date with our blog posts to get updates on Government grants.
Access to relevant information, grants and opportunities in Victoria has improved with a redesign of Sustainability Victoria’s business-related web pages. The updated content and structure covers energy efficiency and materials efficiency themes.
New features include advice, tools and case studies to support businesses looking to reduce energy bills. The site has a refreshing approach that provides information specific to a business sector, which saves you time by reducing the need to wade through energy efficiency information that may be generic or unrelated to your business.
The site also provides a ‘go to section’ that describes ways to assess, optimise, reduce energy use and save on costs for commonplace industrial and service related systems, examples including compressed air, HVAC, Lighting, motors, heating and refrigeration systems. This section also provides indicative costs, paybacks and benefits to help businesses with early budgeting.
Another feature of the site is the ‘Materials Efficiency’ section which provides a good overview as to the opportunities to save money through improved materials use.
Whilst it is somewhat buried in the energy efficiency section the information provided is an important feature for businesses looking to save on costs, particularly for manufacturing businesses where raw materials can be 30% of the cost of production.
It is here that Sustainability Victoria provides a very good framework for process optimisation and materials efficiency best practice, including some useful tools and resources. SV also identifies the importance of conducting material efficiency assessments to better understand the ‘hot spots’ where material losses may be impacting the business bottom line.
If you are looking for further cost saving measures it may be worthwhile visiting the Sustainability Victoria website.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Equilibrium team on BH (03) 9372 5356 if you are looking for support with energy or materials assessments .
Assisting manufacturers to better manage their energy use and maximise efficiency is good for the environment and can contribute to improved business outcomes.
Equilibrium welcomes Round 2 of the NSW Government’s Energy Saver program and its focus on supporting manufacturers to achieve new levels of energy efficiency. Programs such as Energy Saver provide a valuable stimulus for manufacturers to implement new energy saving technologies and processes that may otherwise be out of reach.
Manufacturers in NSW looking to implement new energy efficiency measures over the coming months should investigate any funding opportunities through the Manufacturing Efficiency Funding program. This is a timely initiative and can make a real difference for some companies wanting to save energy and improve operational efficiencies.
There are two co-funding offers available, and applications close 10 July 2020. Offers are limited to one project per site.
Offer 1: Metering and process optimisation
Up to $50,000 funding available for projects that can be completed within 18 months, and involve:
> installing metering and involve data analysis to identify faulty equipment
> installing sensors and controls to improve combustion efficiency
> fine-tuning equipment to operates more efficiently
Offer 2: Equipment upgrades
Up to $70,000 funding available for manufacturers to install or upgrade to more energy efficient equipment. Example projects may include:
> fuel switching
> bespoke heat recovery projects
> major chiller upgrades
> compressed air system modifications
> high efficiency equipment for new production lines or sites
If you are interested in the program and looking for support with applying or navigating the guidelines, please contact the Equilibrium team on BH (03) 9372 5356.
For complete details on Energy Saver NSW look here.