Sustainable Businesses in Australia, Pt. 3: The Fairfield City Partnership

Fri, Jul 10, 2009

3. Case Studies, Country Info

In first two parts of this article, I examined Vinidex and the 60L Green Building respectively, two examples of the ways in which Australia is embracing sustainability. In this, the final part, I investigate a collaboration between the local government of Fairfield City and a group of big businesses. Continue reading to find out how two large organizations pooled their resources to save over a million dollars per year.

Case Study #3: Fairfield City

The fifth largest local government authority in Australia, Fairfield City partnered with The Smithfield Wetherill Park Chamber of Commerce and Industry to pursue a greener environment. Working with thirteen other local industrial businesses over 18 months, the group recognized key problems and solutions for their operations. They were able to build the skills and understanding to self-direct their improvement process with over $1.2 million in annual savings.

How was this achieved?

The collaboration between the local government and industrial businesses has shown valuable and intangible benefits. Throughout the project, the businesses shared ideas and raised awareness of issues through regular meetings. The areas of improvement include:

  • Energy and Water:  Improved anodising tanks were installed at Universal Anodisers and replaced undersized piping which helped enhance better heat transfers. This boosted energy efficiency and made $100 000 in annual savings. The installation of AAA- rated showerheads was set up at Prariewood Leisure Centre to save water use.
  • Recycling – For Rmax, the company invested in a granulating machine to reprocess waste from plastic to produce lower grade products. However, the granulating process released some unwanted compact dust which needed to be disposed. Realizing this problem, Rmax installed a melting machine to reprocess 100% of its plastic waste and reduce raw material consumption. This procedure diverted 86.9 tonnes of waste from landfill annually which saved Rmax $18000 per year.

What are the environmental and financial benefits?

The businesses provided a real and ongoing commitment to sound environment management practices that saved 13 local businesses and Fairfield City Council over $1.2 million annually. The table shown below summarizes the companies’ environmental and financial benefits:


(Information for the above case studies can be found at the Australian government’s sustainability site.)

Ecological sustainability will supply us with all the clean air, water and the healthy soils that we need. It will also protect and support the unique flora and fauna with which we share on this planet. There are many ways that companies can go green. Here are some tips that will help your business or home save energy, prevent pollution, conserve natural resources and reduce landfill:

  • Change your light bubs to an energy efficient compact fluorescent one which helps reduce emissions and lasts 10 times longer than conventional light bulbs.
  • Install waterless urinals that uses no water but at the same time meeting the highest hygienic standards. (Visit Desert Eco Systems’ website for more infromation.)
  • Save $100 per year off your energy bill by switching your computer off at the end of the day or put your computer on sleep mode. This reduces 5% of operating power.
  • Replace your office computer with laptops or notebooks which uses up to 90% less energy than a desktop computer. (McKay Kim and Bonnin Jenny, “True Green”)
  • Introduce recycling measures in your business or home that will make it easier to reduce landfill. Save paper by setting your computer printing settings to double-sided and only print out what is necessary. Use scrap paper for writing notes on or reuse it in your photocopier of fax machine. Recycle all your ink and toner cartridges to significantly help reduce waster removal expenses.
  • Save tonnes of emissions a year by changing to renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal energy.

It is good business practice to consider global warming as a chance for businesses to go green and become more efficient on a number of markets. Going green really adds to the bottom line and builds sustainability as we move forward with both carbon and financial constraints. With 7 out of ten people are increasingly concerned about the environment, we can take this opportunity now to be creative and change the way we meet our needs, we’ll give our own species a chance to survive and grow.

Thanh Loan Nguyen is an Australasian with Bachelor’s degree in communications, though she majored in politics. Her interests include all aspects of the entertainment industries, society and culture, reading and writing, international relations and politics.

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