Case study meat processing industry by lindayy


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                                        The Environmental Protection Agency is Queensland’s lead agency to promote
                                        eco-efficiency and sustainability in the agribusiness sector.


                                                                                                                                                Meat processing
                                                                                                                                                Case study

                                        Meat processing
                                         The way forward through eco-efficiency

                                      The company
                                      Australian Country Choice (ACC) is one    Eco-efficiency outcomes
                                      of Australia’s leading integrated agri-                                           an environmental management
                                                                                An eco-efficiency assessment at ACC’s
                                      chain businesses and one of                                                       system, life-cycle assessment regime,
                                                                                Cannon Hill facility has forecast
                                      Queenslands largest privately owned                                               cleaner production methods and
                                                                                potential savings of $1.0 million
                                      companies. Their Cannon Hill facility                                             eco-labelling principles.
                                                                                before capital expenditure and
                                      has capacity to process 5000 cattle a
                                                                                reduction in:                           Cleaner production
                                                                                 • total water use by 37 percent        A strategic Cleaner Production
                                      ACC was the winner of the 2002
                                                                                 • total coal use 36 percent            Implementation Plan was developed
                                      Queensland Primary Industries
                                                                                                                        at the Cannon Hill facility to address
                                      Environment Award and 2002                 • total greenhouse gas emissions by
                                                                                                                        eco-efficiency opportunities in water,
                                      Queensland Red Meat Innovation               8027 tonnes (CO2) from reduced
                                                                                                                        energy, wastewater and waste solids
                                      Environment Award.                           energy use
                                                                                 • wastewater by 36 percent
                                      The issues                                                                        The strategy includes a range of
                                                                                 • biosolids by 84 percent.
                                      In order to meet growing consumer                                                 simple and complex modifications
                                                                                This assessment has the potential to    which will be carried out in four-stages
                                      demands for ‘clean and green’             demonstrate to other companies the
                                      products, ACC were supported by their                                             over 10 years.
                                                                                commercial benefits to be gained by
         1 of 2 BP 1416 August 2002

                                      client, Coles Supermarkets, to certify    implementing good environmental         The first stage of the strategy
                                      the on-factory environmental              management.                             identifies opportunities that require
                                      management system to ISO 14001                                                    minimal capital expense.
                                      standards. Sustainable agriculture        Environmental
                                      programs are becoming increasingly
                                      common in the agribusiness sector,
                                                                                management strategies
                                      encouraging producers and                 ACC have deployed a number of
                                      processors to improve current             business tools to improve their
                                      environmental management practices.       environmental performance including
                             Examples include:
                              • fitting efficient spray nozzles to
                                                                          Why adopt eco-efficiency strategies?
                                hoses                                     Identifying eco-efficiency strategies is driven by a number of factors:
                              • reducing the water flow & pressure        • anticipated shifts in the regulatory framework
                                of water supply
                                                                          • market access opportunities
                              • maintaining minimum flow rates
                                                                          • risk reduction
                              • eliminating all air leaks through
                                                                          • resource savings - more with less
                                regular inspection and
                                maintenance                               • cost competitiveness and profitability
                              • using water-efficient shower roses        • comparative advantage
                              • recycling treated wastewater in non-      • performance standardisation internationally
                                food processing applications              • changing consumer expectations
                              • introducing practices that reduce         • stakeholder/investor expectations.
                                heat ingress into refrigerated areas.     These issues are equally relevant to, and increasingly recognised by industry
                             The second stage of the strategy             stakeholders in Queensland, and throughout the world.
                             requires plant alterations involving an
                                                                          Eco-efficiency models can be used as a tool to respond to local and
                             intermediate level of capital
                                                                          international trends and realise the economic benefits of improved
                             expenditure while avoiding major
                                                                          environmental performance. They demonstrate the resource productivity
                             process redesign.
                                                                          gains, value creation opportunities and competitive advantage that can
                             This includes initiatives such as:           accrue from responsible environmental management.
                              • replacement of sensor and timer
                                                                         ACC are investigating state of the art    ACC has made a commitment to
                                controls on hand wash stations
                                                                        methods and technologies that have         extend their EMS to deliver integrated
                              • insulated knife sterilisers             the potential to deliver further CO2       farm, feedlot and factory ISO 14001
                              • recycling refrigeration defrost water   reductions, convert organic waste          certification.
                                for non-food processing washdown        streams and produce biogas for
                                                                                                                   Life cycle assessment (LCA)
                                applications                            energy generation.
                                                                                                                   Life-cycle assessment is being
                              • installation of motor optimisers        Environmental Management System            considered for through-chain farm,
                              • replacing refrigeration condensers      (EMS)                                      feedlot and factory operations. ‘Down
                              • converting red offal wash to sensor-    ACC achieved ISO 14001 certification       chain’ logistics and retail could also
                                operation                               for the Cannon Hill facility in August     be incorporated. The aim is to
                              • recovering boiler blowdown heat for     2001. The company’s EMS is an              identify and quantify where ACC has
                                preheating boiler feed water.           essential tool in the implementation       the greatest environmental impact
                             Major innovations in stages three and      of eco-efficiency principles and           and to develop strategies to offset
                             four will require process redesign to      disciplines at the site. The EMS           these impacts under the EMS. That is,
                             allow for alternative sources of energy    provides a mechanism for ACC to            to minimise the ‘environmental
                             and water. Some of the innovative          establish objectives and targets,          footprint’.
                             redesigns to operating processes           recognise environmental measures           Eco-labelling
                             include:                                   required, monitor improvements and
                                                                                                                   ACC is currently assessing the
                                                                        assess progress. The EMS covers
                             • rainwater harvesting for non-food                                                   benefits of eco-labelling products as a
                                                                        water, energy, waste, emissions, noise
                               processing wash down                                                                marketing strategy and as a means to
                                                                        and land management issues.
                             • greater internal water recycling                                                    enter new markets.
                             • heat recovery from refrigeration
                                                                                For more information on Agribusiness
2 of 2 BP 1416 August 2002

                             • adopting solar hot water
                             • anaerobic digestion of wastewater                call  (07) 3225 1999
                               and manure to produce biogas                     visit
                               (methane) and to reduce biosolids
                               production from the wastewater
                               treatment system
                             • energy generation from biogas to
                               supplement coal in the existing

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