3 October 2018
Australia’s Visy Industries and the CEFC have announced new plans to significantly increase waste recycling and processing capabilities, in part to offset the impact of changes in the international recycling market.
Visy plans to invest $30 million of CEFC finance across a range of energy efficient, renewable and low emissions technologies over the next four years. The finance is part of a pipeline of potential projects to increase Visy’s manufacturing capacity to recycle waste materials by 10 per cent, as well as improve the overall energy efficiency and renewable energy use of its large-scale manufacturing operations.
These initiatives will reduce waste volumes going to landfill and make a material reduction to Australia’s waste-related emissions.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “Visy is an Australian and global leader in recycling and the use of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies. We are proud to work with the company to respond to the urgent waste crisis we face.
“As a community, we need to reduce our overall waste as well as invest in more sustainable management of remaining waste. This includes extracting energy from non-recyclable waste to replace fossil fuels, as well as increasing our ability to recycle paper and packaging waste onshore.
“As a major Australian manufacturer, Visy is also leading the way in investing in energy efficient equipment and technologies to help power its 24-hour operations. We see this as a model for other manufacturers grappling with high energy prices and commend Visy on its leadership.”
Visy Chairman Anthony Pratt said: “Visy has pledged to invest $2 billion in Australian manufacturing to create jobs, increase efficiencies and boost sustainability. We are pleased to partner with the CEFC to help us make good on a part of that pledge.”
Visy currently recycles 1.2 million tonnes of paper and cardboard each year. With this new $30 million investment program, it expects to increase capacity by 10 per cent.
Visy’s pipeline of potential projects includes better processing and sorting technologies to increase the amount of materials that can be recycled, as well as increased renewable energy generation internally to help offset grid energy needs.
Waste management is an increasingly complex issue in Australia and globally, exacerbated by new policy decisions from China which restrict the importation of waste materials. This impacts as much as 1.25 million tonnes of waste materials from Australia, including an estimated 920,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard, which would produce harmful methane emissions if disposed of as landfill.
The CEFC is stepping up its investments in waste-related projects, as part of its mission to reduce Australia’s overall emissions. Recent investments have included an innovative organic waste facility in Melbourne to produce compost by processing the equivalent of 12,000 truckloads of kerbside green waste each year. A separate investment in Sydney is producing a solid fuel by processing 250,000 tonnes of non-recyclable commercial and industrial waste a year.
CEFC Bioenergy Sector Lead Henry Anning said: “Our priority is to cut emissions. With this investment, Visy will upgrade its existing recycling infrastructure as well as invest in new equipment to support greater resource recovery. This is about processing non-recyclable waste so we reduce landfill volumes and also cut emissions from decomposing waste.”
According to the International Energy Agency, Australia’s manufacturers are the most energy intensive in the world. They are also large users of natural gas, with manufacturing accounting for around 40 per cent of total natural gas consumption in 2014-15.
Mr Anning said: “We see clean energy technologies playing an increasingly important role in enabling Australian industry to reduce its energy intensity and better manage its energy-related operating costs.
“Visy is already a great example of this, meeting a part of its energy needs, including heat, through its existing biomass and energy from waste investments. The CEFC finance will allow Visy to further complement these energy sources with new investment to lift the overall energy efficiency of its operations. These are proven technologies that can be considered right across the manufacturing sector.”
Visy is a global leader in the packaging, paper and resource recovery industries, providing high quality, innovative and sustainable packaging products and solutions. We have been leading packaging innovation in Australia for over 60 years. We offer unique, fully integrated, forward thinking closed loop packaging and recycling solutions that align with customer and industry needs. Our manufacturing and processing, technology, logistics and design are part of a streamlined system that ensures our packaging solutions are consistently among the best in the world. Visy operates in over 120 sites throughout Australasia and has trading offices across Asia and Europe. We are aligned to deliver integrated and sustainable solutions that enhance business success and reduce our impact on the environment. www.visy.com.au