The word is out - take care of your environmental bottom line, and it will do wonders for your financial health! BPG Director Debbie Burgess delivered this keynote message at the recent conference of CPA's.
BRIGHT PRINT GROUP: A CASE STUDY ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACCOUNTANTS Supported by the NSW Government as part of the Energy Efficiency Training Program
Brief summary of case study video
"Acccountants have a great opportunity to champion the whole energy reduction movement within their organisation. They're the ones who can see the numbers, see the cost benefits.
"Even small projects can be used to build traction with other members of the management team.
"BPG's initial foray into waste minimisation was a natural extension of the personal maxim "Waste not want not". It simply made sense to reduce operating costs.
"BPG had an energy audit in 2008, which identified a number of issues and opportunities. Of immediate concern was the revelation that 30% of BPG's electricity usage was lighting. By replacing metal halide lighting with induction lighting, we were able to reduce lighting costs by 75%.
"The Energy Certificate Scheme reduced our investment costs to 30-40% of the capital required, meaning our payback time was just over 12 months.
"The largest item of capital expenditure recommended in the energy audit was solar power. At the time of the audit, the cost of a 99kw solar system would have been close to a million dollars. Since then, the cost has fallen to around $300,000 - $350,000. At the time we installed it, there was a Federal Government grant which matched our investment dollar for dollar. This meant we were paying around $150,000 and made the payback time around 4 years.
"Other opportunities identified for waste reduction were water, waste and recycling.
"We were shocked to discover that our computer to plate technology was using 18 litres of water per plate. We carefully sourced a recycling unit from the USA, which has reduced water consumption to under 2 litres per plate. The cost of the unit was $15,000, but we had it paid back in under 3 years. The cost is not the motive for us, but knowing we were doing the right thing by recycling perfectly good water.
"When you really open up your organisation and look at all the ways you can reduce waste, you get on a bit of a roll. You can become quite obsessed with saving resources! There are many more benefits than we could have foreseen 6-7 years ago. It is very satisfying. Now, everything we do is wrapped up in the "how can we minimise waste" question.
"We've ticked off most of the things on our energy-saving "bucket list" so savings will likely be incremental from now on, until the next breakthrough in technology!"