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Cutting emissions brings sustainable profits

The government’s carbon trading scheme which will be introduced next year has brought unexpected windfalls allowing Victorian businesses to save money by using energy efficient technologies to minimise emissions, according to Sustainability Victoria.

Sustainability Victoria will attend the Carbon Reduction & Trading Expo, which runs from 31st March to 2nd April in Melbourne, in a bid to further assist businesses to identify these possible savings.

Sustainability Victoria’s manager for sustainable business, Leigh Bernoth, will tell the concurrent Carbon Reduction & Trading Conference that there is 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.

Bernoth plans to speak at the conference about how businesses can couple emission reduction with lower operating costs while lifting productivity and reaping performance gains.

A business already to benefit from cutting emissions is food manufacturing giant, Nestlé, according to Sustainability Victoria.

Simple changes to the refrigeration systems at the company’s Pakenham plant have reduced total site energy consumption by six 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, the organisation said.

Sustainability Victoria says such gains are not isolated to the food industry, with lots of chances for processing and control companies to benefit.

In one case, 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; and

? 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,” Bernoth said.

“Planning the integration of service equipment into core operations is also an essential part of ensuring energy efficient operation of service equipment.”

The Carbon Reduction & Trading Conference is sponsored by Sustainability Victoria, and will run at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

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