Green start for business

Sustainable Melbourne Fund CEO Scott Bocskay, Cardinia Shire Council CEO Carol Jeffs, Cardinia Shire Cr Graeme Moore, Phus Pty Ltd Director Andrew Page.

By Rowan Forster

A Pakenham manufacturer has signed onto a historic eco-friendly contract with Cardinia Shire to install a 99kW solar electricity system, reducing energy-related costs and the company’s carbon footprint.

Phus Pty Ltd, a producer of plastic moulds, is the first local business to enlist in the Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) – set to revolutionise Melbourne’s industrial operations.

The $88,000 investment in the solar system will generate 20 per cent of power consumption needed on site and reduce annual energy bills by 19 per cent.

Once completed, the installation is projected to save 152 tonnes of CO2 emission annually.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Councillor Graeme Moore said Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) provides an innovative way for building owners to bankroll expensive upgrades.

“By supporting the implementation of EUFs, council is taking steps towards assisting businesses in the Shire to access attractive financing towards improving their buildings.

“When businesses do these kinds of upgrades it creates jobs for installers; protects businesses from rising electricity prices; frees up cash flow for operators; improves conditions for building occupants and helps reduce our carbon footprint.

“The program is an excellent opportunity for council to collaborate with businesses to reduce their operating costs, improve the value of commercial building stock, and create more resource-efficient and environmentally-friendly enterprises across our shire.

“We congratulate Phus Pty Ltd for taking the initiative and signing up, and encourage other local businesses to investigate if this program could also help them become more environmentally-friendly.”

An Environmental Upgrade Agreement between a property owner, a bank and local government is established to finance building upgrades that support direct environmental outcomes.

It offers 100 per cent project finance, very competitive interest rates and long-term financing schemes to businesses.

The council is now inviting more local businesses to partake in the initiative.

An information session will be held at the Emerald Library at 6pm on 4 March to help local businesses better understand the program.

“Come along to our information session to find out how the program could benefit your business and our environment,” Cr Moore added.

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