Saturday, May 25, 2024

East Gippsland cooks up new sustainability deal

East Gippsland Shire Council has announced its first Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) with Patties Foods, the landowner of the Lucknow manufacturing site Charter-Hall, and external financier, Sustainable Australia Fund, to support new energy efficiency projects.

Mayor, Mark Reeves said the two-year trial agreement, valued at more than $200,000, will see the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting in Patties’ production facilities.

“Council is proud to be part of supporting these changes that will reduce emissions, save money, and improve building performance,” Mayor Reeves said.

“The financing model allows the costs of the upgrade to be paid back over time, with loan repayments being collected in a similar way to council rates.”

The LED lighting upgrade will not only reduce energy consumption and costs but will also improve the quality of lighting in the production facilities, creating a safer and more productive working environment for employees, he said.

“The Patties Foods team and I are thrilled to be at the forefront of a huge shift to more environmentally sustainable manufacturing sites,” said Patties Foods Group CEO, Paul Hitchcock.

“As a beloved Australian-made food company, we know that we have the responsibility to help slow down the effects of climate change. We are proud to be supported by the council in this huge change and hope that others will follow in our efforts.”

The use of the new form of finance is being made possible by the Sustainable Australia Fund.

“At Sustainable Australia Fund, we believe capital can be utilised as a force for good, and that every dollar we invest improves the economic and environmental outcomes of our customers. That’s why we’re proud to work with iconic Australian brands like Patties Foods and Charter-Hall, to help reduce their environmental impact as well as their operational costs,” said Chief Executive and Managing Director, Scott Bocskay.

Mayor Reeves said the agreement strongly supported two strategies in Council’s new 10-year Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2022-32.

“Our strategy identifies ‘supporting industries to be more sustainable’ and ‘encouraging organisations across the shire to manage and mitigate the impacts of a changing climate’ as key environmental sustainability actions,” the Mayor said.

“Congratulations to Patties and Charter-Hall for their initiative.

“Council, with technical and administrative support from Better Building Finance, are excited to lead the way in supporting local businesses to transition to more sustainable practices and looks forward to seeing the positive impacts of this trial EUA.”

Charter Hall Fund Manager of DIF4, Julian Menegazzo, said, “As the owner of the site, we are very supportive of Patties Foods’ investment in energy efficiencies that drive lower carbon emissions at Lucknow.

“Patties Foods is a key tenant customer with a long-term commitment at the site and this is a great sustainability initiative being implemented that not only reduces energy consumption but also improves their operations within the facility.

“The more our tenant customers contribute to the pathway to decarbonisation, the better off the environment will be. We continue to engage with businesses across our portfolio on solutions for smarter and cleaner outcomes. Well done to the Patties team on this initiative,” Mr Menegazzo said.

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