We take our responsibilities to the environment seriously and are committed to establishing our genuine green credentials amongst our shareholders and customer base.
The focus on environmental and sustainable business practices continues to escalate and the Australian operation is being proactive to ensure Victoria has the necessary resources and skills to meet the challenges ahead. ISO 14001 accreditation is the cornerstone of Victoria's environmental program and initiatives instigated from the ISO principles have seen improvements in waste reduction, efficiency and resource usage.
In recognising the growing importance of Environmental and Sustainability practices across the Australian operations an Environmental Management position has been appointed to drive initiatives to continuously improve our environmental impact.
The waste and cardboard recycling programme of SDN yarns at the Dandenong carpet factory has reduced landfill by 2,200m3 per annum.
The finishing line water reclamation project is near completion and will achieve the targeted reductions in prescribed waste.
We are currently in consultation with a local manufacturer to recycle carpet scrap into industrial sheeting that will further reduce landfill by an estimated 350 tonnes per annum.
We are working with a local manufacturer to use waste stretchwrap as a raw material that is completely recycled to produce new stretchwrap that will be purchased back at reduced costs: An excellent example of closed-loop sustainability. This will further reduce landfill by an estimated 200 tonnes per annum.
The tank-farm bunding project at Dandenong is completed and will prevent storm water contamination in the event of a latex spill.
A take-back programme to recycle carpet tiles is in development stage. This will allow Victoria to attain the ratings in the Environmental Certification Scheme that are required by Australian Green Building Council in the commercial market segment.
Energy efficiency is a foremost issue throughout the Group, not only as a target for reducing costs but equally as an environmental issue. The Group is continually looking at methods to reduce heating and lighting costs and in making improvements to our production processes in order to further reduce our total energy consumption.
In the UK, we have identified areas within our factory where we have been able to conserve heat and energy simply by closing off various internal and external doors, with no impact to our operation. We are also continuing with the replacement of 500W factory lights with more efficient 100W low-energy ones which provide the same light output.
In addition to recycling all cardboard, plastic and most electrical and metal waste, all backing line waste and changeover waste is now recycled into carpet underlay, saving approximately 100 tonnes per year of landfill. We have also been able to save an anticipated 20 tonnes per year of Yarn waste in our Tufting manufacture, a reduction of 25%.
The Company continues to be eligible for the Climate Change Levy (CCL) rebate scheme. The Company has also been required to register for the new Climate Reduction Commitment (CRC), but Group energy usage falls below the threshold at which the Company would be required to take part in the proposed "league tables" of carbon reduction performance. The fact that the UK companies have Climate Change Agreements (CCA's) already in place in the form of their CCL rebate schemes means that, now registration for the CRC is complete, we are able to continue to concentrate our efforts on carbon reduction though the CCL rebate scheme. We continue to implement energy saving ideas both in the factory and in the engineering of our product specifications to reduce energy usage, and several initiatives are currently underway.
Video conferencing is used on a regular basis between the Group's sites located across the World to promote communication between our companies and to avoid unnecessary travel.
Nature's Carpet® is Victoria's response to increasing consumer demand for biodegradable ultra low toxicity products. The range includes Tufted and traditional woven Wilton carpet, carpet tiles and a wool underlay, all of which meet the high standards demanded by both the environmental movement and by individuals with high sensitivity to chemical toxins. Nature's Carpet® is currently sold throughout North America & Canada through retail flooring stores and green building centres and has been trialled exclusively in the UK for the past 6 months with John Lewis. Nature's Carpet. should also soon be available throughout the UK.