Horsham House

29 September 2010 – Five Victorian businesses have been honoured by Victorian mployers Chamber of Commerce and Industries for their water, gas and energy savings while participating in the Grow Me The Money sustainability program.

Participants in the 12-step online program designed to make SMEs more sustainable saved an average of $8619 on their gas, electricity and water bills in the 2009-10 financial year, representing a 32 per cent improvement on the 2008-09 savings.

Firms also saved, on average, 78.1 tonnes of carbon in 2009-10, a jump of 29 per cent on the 2008-09 figure of 60.5 tonnes carbon. The average carbon saving in 2009-10 is equivalent to each participant taking over 18 cars off Australia’s roads, compared to 14 cars in 2008-09.

The winners were:

1-4 employees: Clean and Gone and Horsham House

5-15 employees: Third Ecology and McManus Real Estate

31-99 employees: Isuzu Australia Ltd

A snapshot of the winners follows:

Horsham House, a regional heritage bed and breakfast has cut water and electricity use by 64 per cent and 28 per cent respectively since 2007, through a series of water and energy reduction initiatives, including water-efficient laundry appliances, a heat recovery ventilation system, a heat pump hot water system and temperature-sensitive valves on showers.

Clean and Gone, a rubbish removal, demolition and building de-fitter, has reduced its carbon footprint by cutting landfill waste through the careful deconstruction of sites and salvaging and resale of re-useable materials.  Fuel bills have also been cut by reduced trips to landfill and better planning of driver routes.

Third Ecology¸ an architect firm, has reduced lighting energy consumption by 20 per cent through simple measures such as turning off non-essential appliances, replace lighting with LED and adding additional light switches to work areas. The company also replaced its old computer server with new energy star compliant equipment that used less energy than the previous, lesser capacity server.

Lara-based real estate firm, McManus Real Estate, has reduced water consumption by 25 percent by introducing a drought tolerant garden and installing water tanks, reduced energy heating/cooling related energy use by 15 per cent, reduced energy use from lighting by 35 per cent and minimised paper use by 10 per cent. It is also educating tenants and landlords on sustainability initiatives through an updated property inspection checklist incorporating measures such as installing shower heads, waters tanks, and energy efficient lighting, and via “green tips” in its monthly newsletter.

Isuzu Australia Limited launched a range of compressed natural gas trucks in May 2010 which produce 30 per cent less carbon than the equivalent diesel vehicle and save customers 25 per cent in fuel costs. The company has introduced an office recycling program, “delamped” secondary office areas, and introduced “Cool Biz”, whereby staff dress appropriately for the revised summer air conditioning temperatures now set at 24 degrees. It has invested in new lighting technologies and, coupled with a range of other initiatives, has saved around 20 per cent in energy during 2010. The company also plans to roll out green accreditation throughout its 70 dealership network through participation in Grow Me The Money.

Businesses can join the Grow Me The Money online program by visiting www.growmethemoney.com.au. Prices start at $89 and are 100 per cent tax deductible.