16 May 2006

Foster's Australia wins state sustainable industries awards

Foster's Australia (Foster’s) has won the Industrial Eco-Efficiency Award in the inaugural Environmental Protection Agency Sustainable Industries Awards for recycling and reducing water use at the Yatala brewery.

Presenting the award, Environment Minister Desley Boyle said Foster's innovative approach and ongoing progress in relation to environmental responsibility put it in front of a strong pack.

"Foster's has successfully embarked upon a $170million expansion, which doubled the facility's size yet reduced its water dependency on the region's already-restricted supply," Ms Boyle said.

During its expansion, the brewery worked with Gold Coast Water to reduce its impacts and to incorporate water use initiatives that complement the region's overall salinity, water and wastewater strategy.

Foster's Australia's Operation Manager at the Queensland facility, Charlie Foxall, said he was delighted to receive the award as the plant had become arguably one of the most water-efficient breweries in the world.

"We were determined the expansion of our facility would not place additional pressure on the region's limited water supplies and we are very pleased our efforts were recognised through this sustainability award," he said.

"We developed an advanced wastewater treatment system that allows on-site recycling of process water for applications in boiler feedwater, cooling tower makeup, wash down and various cleaning processes - and delivers greater energy efficiency," he said.

The innovative system has also resulted in significant reductions in salt discharge from the brewery and in the consumption of cleaning chemicals, while minimising energy and greenhouse impacts.

Member for Albert, Margaret Keech, said she was delighted to see the Yatala icon recognised for more than its ale.

"Foster's has made a significant contribution to the community by changing the way it uses water," Mrs Keech said.

Ms Boyle said the winners, across six different categories, had been selected from a total of 115 entries and showcased Queensland's "champions of sustainability".

"Sustainable industries are about smart strategies like eco-efficiency, socially-responsible investment and building competitiveness through sustainability."

The Industrial Eco-effeciency Award, sponsored by Hatch, recognises an organisation's overall eco-efficiency performance.

Finalists were judged by a panel of industry representatives. The four other finalists in this category included Coca-Cola Amatil, Richlands, Beaulieu of Australia Pty Ltd, Ormeau, and The Reef Hotel Casino, Cairns.

Further information:

Foster’s Corporate Affairs
Telephone: 03 9633 2233

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