I recently attended an industry workshop to contribute to the state government’s new energy efficiency policies for business. It was interesting to hear the viewpoints of the range of attendees who all agreed funding business to look at energy efficiency in isolation from the whole business, in the long term, would not be effective in achieving ongoing energy efficiencies and business commitment.
I came away from the discussion feeling positive with our choice to take a holistic approach to environmental management. Meaning we believe our business operations are too interconnected to look at on their own. Hence we look at all areas (waste, water, energy and inputs) together to develop projects which will achieve a long-term sustainable outcome.
It was a good revelation to have as I stepped into our 2015 year carbon audit.
The results of this year’s audit were positive and again highlighted the main benefit of this process which is the resultant set of meaningful and comparable figures. In my mind the greatest result of the audit is those figures. They enable us to identify areas of the business we can change, save us money and provide a benchmark for ongoing measurement to ensure what we do has the desired impact.
The audit this year was focussed at an organisation level; the results displaying how one small change to process can have large ramifications on your carbon footprint.
In our bottling facility we continue to see the benefits of shifting to a ‘bottle on demand’ arrangement. The change being originally motivated by financial benefit and flexibility in utilisation of wine product, the impact on our carbon profile is a reduction in electricity usage, LPG requirements, CO2 and freight.
In the vineyards we saw a reduced electricity profile indicating the benefits of a wetter growing season as the pumps did not have to work as hard as 2014.
A reduction in carbon emissions relating to freight was influenced heavily by a change in the use of external freight providers. Following an internal review, our distribution agency made improvements to their warehousing which has meant better stock management. We now send stock less frequently to their Melbourne warehouse which has reduced our carbon footprint.
The audit also highlighted the areas we need to focus on in the future; in particular where we saw an increase in emissions such as emissions related to our contribution to landfill. Actions we are going to take to combat this is an area I expect you’ll hear about in the near future.
Before I leave you I’d like to say thank you to all those who have been in touch with comments and ideas. I am really enjoying your contribution.
Exciting times ahead.