In 2009 Council has established a local business cluster under the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program to assist Council and local businesses to improve their environmental performance and save money at the same time. The program primarily aims to help organisations to minimise their ecological footprint by identifying ways of using resources more efficiently and reducing the amount of waste produced.
A number of local businesses have joined the program including Edstein Creative Stone, Saxbys Soft Drinks, Impress, Valley Industries, Wingham Beef Exports and Stebercraft. Great Lakes Council and MidCoast Water are also leading by example by participating in the program.
Sustainability Advantage is run through the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water with 300 organisations across NSW currently participating in the program. Energy and water cost savings of more than $5 million have been made under the program, over 200,000 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill, along with significant reductions in resource use.
Sustainability Advantage consists of seven training modules and is delivered in a cluster format with regular get-togethers by the group to share ideas and track progress.
To date Council has undertaken a diagnostic assessment of Council's current sustainability practices and the level of Council's energy, water, resource use and waste production. This assessment identified areas where Council can improve its environmental performance and the training modules Council should focus on including Vision, Commitment & Planning, Resource Efficiency, Environmental Risk & Responsibility & Staff Engagement. Sustainability consultants are now working with Council staff to deliver these modules over the next 18 months.
For more information on how you can work with Council to accelerate the environmental performance of your business call Council on 6592 5248.