Green manufacturing no pie in the sky

Monday, 01 March, 2010

In a world where navigating the carbon jungle is often considered as ‘just too hard’, a century-old family firm has been rewarded for getting excited about sustainability.

Recently, Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses was awarded the Environment and Energy Management Award at NAB Agribusiness Awards for Excellence for demonstrating that sound fiscal management and strategies for protecting the environment can work together successfully in business.

The company won the title for its groundbreaking food manufacturing plant in Melbourne and its demonstrated commitment to running a sustainable operation, to the benefit of business and the community.

Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses Co-Director Steven Plarre said the award confirmed that his company’s commitment to the environment ‘made sense’.

“Who would have thought that an energy-intensive business like a bakery could find a way to go green - and be successful at it?” he said.

“Given the financial and environmental benefits, our decision to bake our products within a sustainability framework was a no-brainer.

“We made a decision to do business in a way that benefited our business, our customers and, ultimately, the world in which we all live.

“Well, we have and we have brought our staff and our supply chain along with us on a journey to a smaller carbon footprint - a journey that’s only just begun.

“Our continuing goal is to future-proof our business and we are well on our way to that.

“By harnessing the waste heat from our refrigeration systems, redistributing heat recovered from freshly baked products, employing hybrid vehicle technologies and offsetting the remaining emissions via tree planting, we have reduced our carbon footprint by over 5000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

“And our savings in electricity alone paid for our investment in the very first year,” Plarre said.

He said the company’s newest Melbourne bakery showcased sustainable business growth policy in action.

The new plant was the result of 10 years of research, conducted in Australia and overseas, with the ultimate aim of building the most efficient, environmentally friendly, people-friendly bakery possible.

Highlights of achievements since establishing the bakery just 18 months ago include:

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