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Cutting emissions brings sustainable profits

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Even before its introduction next year, the carbon trading scheme has brought unexpected windfalls for many Victorian businesses. Using energy efficient technologies to minimise emissions, companies are pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings in the process, says Sustainability Victoria.

Sustainability Victoria will be on hand at the Carbon Reduction & Trading Expo, which runs from March 31 to April 2 in Melbourne, to help business identify savings. Sustainability Victoria’s manager for sustainable business, Leigh Bernoth, will tell the concurrent Carbon Reduction & Trading Conference there's a strong business case for green technology.

“It is our experience that business can readily reduce energy costs by up to 30 per cent by implementing simple and effective best practice solutions to their service equipment,” he said.

Mr Bernoth will tell the conference how businesses can couple emission reduction with lower operating costs while lifting productivity and reaping performance gains.

One of those to benefit has been food giant, Nestlé. Simple changes to the refrigeration systems at the company’s Pakenham plant have reduced total site energy consumption by 6 per cent. The $265,000 cost should be recovered within six years, with the project expected to abate around 840 tonnes of carbon per annum.

Sustainability Victoria says such gains aren’t isolated to the food industry. A large laundry will save $18,700 annually after it cut its natural gas usage by 30 per cent by recovering heat from dryers, while an automotive manufacturer retrofitted its existing lighting, reducing energy costs by $349,000 with a payback of just over one year.

Nestlé made the savings with updated control system and compressors in line with recommendations from Best Practice Guides produced by Sustainability Victoria.

The Energy Efficiency Best Practice Guides assist businesses to reduce operating costs, improve system operation and performance, improve the environment and provide a detailed step-by-step guide to achieving best practice. The five guides focus on: 

  • Industrial refrigeration
  • Pumping stations 
  • Steam systems, hot water systems and process heating systems 
  • Lighting 
  • Compressed air systems

“Generic service equipment - typically found in use across all industry sectors, such as compressed air, pumps, refrigeration and process heating - is easily left unattended and can miss out on regular maintenance,” Mr Bernoth said. “Planning the integration of service equipment into core operations is also an essential part of ensuring energy efficient operation of service equipment.”

Sponsored by Sustainability Victoria and organised by Australian Exhibitions & Conferences , the Carbon Reduction & Trading Conference will run from March 31 to April 2 alongside the concurrently held Expo at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

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