ONE of Australia’s best known food and beverage manufacturers, Golden Circle , out-performed a cast of big names to claim the top award in Packaging magazine’s inaugural Evolution Awards at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.
Dr Karli Verghese, of RMIT University’s Centre for Design , and a member of the judging panel, noted Golden Circle’s success in “reducing the impacts of packaging at all levels.”
All packaging materials used by Golden Circle are recyclable, all containers and pallets are returnable, and the company now sends less than 5% of its waste to landfill. Converting regular slotted cartons to wraparound cartons is expected to reduce packaging by 20%, while Golden Circle has reduced the tinplate in its cans by up to 0.05mm, creating a lighter can that creates less waste. Further waste to landfill savings have come from replacing a 1L square Tetra container with a PET alternative and down-gauging cardboard cartons.
Mr Paul Prendergast, Golden Circle’s environmental manager, accepted the Best Action Plan Award, saying, “We were able to get such a low level [of waste to landfill] because of a solid waste tracking database that we created on-site from scratch. It traps all the waste leaving the site and tracks where it goes, from recycling content sent to composting facilities or pine waste sent to dairy farmers. It has been reduced to such an extent that we are recycling a vast content of what we generate in solid waste.”
Golden Circle reported pre-tax earnings of $AU10.4 million for 2005 and sales revenue of $AU390.1 million.
Results from the Northgate, Queensland based company helmed by CEO John Cook send a clear message to industry and consumers alike that corporate social responsibility is critical for business management, bottom line savings and a sustainable future.
“Over the top packaging stories get a good run, but without cans, cartons, bottles, pouches and the many other types of packaging, shelf life would drop, transportation costs would skyrocket and there would be massive waste. The results on show suggest there’s plenty of good news out there too,” said Packaging editor Matthew Levinson. “
The Evolution Awards were designed to recognise excellence in packaging waste management and stewardship of products throughout the entire life cycle. Award winners included KR Castlemaine , Electrolux , YSL Beaute, Blackmores , BP , the South Australian Wine Industry Association and Coca Cola Amatil .