Making life sweet...
Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses is a 110 year old family business and we see the sustainability of our children's future as the primary issue for business and community. We see an opportunity to not only reduce our own environmental footprint but to help create an infectious awareness in our stakeholders about how they too can help improve the world we live in.
Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses are thrilled to have won Australia's most prestigious environmental award, the 2009 Origin Gold Banksia Award for excellence in sustainability.
We've reduced our carbon emissions by over 5000 tonnes but this is only the beginning.
Our cakes are sweet...but so is life.
Let's keep it that way!
We're very proud to announce that Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses is the winner of the NAB Agribusiness Award for Environment and Energy Management 2009
We will continue towards our ultimate aim of zero emissions and we thank our staff for helping us to maintain momentum in the carbon jungle!
On 3rd October 2008, Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses were the proud recipients of the Best Green Business Award at the national My Business Awards 2008.
We're thrilled to be recognised for our approach to the environment and will continue to strive for reduced environmental impacts wherever possible!
Press Release for latest 2009 NAB Agribusiness Environment and Energy Management Award
Read our Environment Policy
Saving the Brush-Tailed Phascogales
Ferguson Plarre has been offsetting omissions for years via tree planting and most recently funded the planting of thousands of trees in the fire-torn Kinglake National Park after the Black Saturday fires. The Greenfleet bushfire recovery project in 2010 was intended to help create a vegetation corridor to help restore biodiversity in this area.
Parks Victoria and DSE lead a week-long survey in Kinglake Ntl Park and discovered that the rare brush-tailed phascogales and the antechinus are back in the park! It is an amazing news which we are very glad to share with you. The brush-tailed phascogale was the emblem of the Greenfleet project as they had not been seen in the National Park after the fires, and the native corridor has been planted to help the population move back from one park to the other.
Saving over 5000 tonnes CO2
Ferguson Plarre is in its 5th generation of family ownership and we believe that only through proactively seeking sustainable business practises will the future generations of our families and yours be able to enjoy the world as we know it today. Our abatement program includes these current initiatives at our new head baking facility:
- Rain water toilet flushing for office & staff facilities.
- Solar heated hot water for staff & office.
- High efficiency aircon for offices, staff amenities & climate cntrolled production areas involving "outside air optimisation" to reduce pwer consumption.
- All hot water required for cake production is preheated by energy recovered from our fridge systems. This equates to a saving of over 600 tonnes of CO2 per year through reduced gas consumption.
- Use of the heat recovered from freshly baked products (using exhaust fans and the heat taken from our cooling tunnels) to heat the main production area in winter & to minimise heat-bleed into refrigerated areas. This equates to a saving of over 2700 tonnes of CO2 per year through a 60% reduction in power usage per square metre.
- Installation of fully integrated SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) energy monitoring system to allow "real time" monitoring of all energy consumption, both individually & collectively to allow full monitoring of all energy consumption of electricity & gas and the resulting CO2 emissions. This information is displayed on a screen in a high-traffic corridor and brings an amazing level of awareness to our team.
- Over 100,000 litres of rainwater tanks plumbed for irrigation and truck washing resulting in approximately 625,000 litres saved per annum.
- Introduction of Victoria’s first Diesel Hybrid truck with Sustainability Victoria. We will measure fuel usage and bench mark the results against our fleet to assess the effectiveness of this technology and the likely payback period. Specialised insulation was sourced for the cabin to reduce weight and the associated emissions from carrying such weight.
- The latest bulk raw material handling equipment eliminates approx 450 bags/wk from our system & halves our requirements for land fill. Our co-mingled waste has already been reduced by 50%.
Planting trees to offset our greenhouse gas emissions
For all of the greenhouse emissions generated from our delivery trucks, we have committed to future offsetting by planting trees through Greenfleet. Our ultimate aim is not to be just carbon neutral but to be carbon negative so that when you eat a delicious cake or pastry from Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses, you'll be helping to improve the world we live in! It's an audacious goal but we believe it's what the world needs.
As well as reducing greenhouse gases, planting native trees helps restore native forests, improves water quality, reduces soil degradation and provides an essential habitat for native species. Recent 'Green Carbon' research conducted by the Australian National University revealed that tall wet eucalypt forests contain up to 10 times more carbon per hectare than previously realised. This research confirms that natural forests play a critical role in regulating greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Mt Worth tree planting...
Here's an ariel view of where our first forest of 7315 trees were planted in May 2008 at Mt Worth - 15km south of Warragul between Leongatha and Warragul:
Once part of the extensive Strezlecki ranges, much of Mt Worth was cleared by early grazers and also logged by forestry companies for its large and valuable timber. It has since been turned over to a state park and contains some great examples of remnant cool temperate rainforest. Timber plantations still exist adjacent to the park. The main species being revegetated is Eucaluptus regnans - Mountain Ash. The Park contains one of the only populations of Giant Earthworm on public land and also has Lyrebird populations amongst a vast array of bird/mammal and fish populations.
Planting in 2009...22,000 trees and counting!
We will be planting 8267 trees in 2009. That brings our total plantings to over 22,000 trees in three years. That's nearly 6000 tonnes of CO2 and the equivalent of taking 1395 cars off the road for a year!
Sustainable Bakery launch
Click below for Channel 10 footage of the launch in November 2007...
Getting your business started with sustainability...
At Ferguson Plarre we encourage all businesses to share and share alike when it comes to sustainability. There are lots of places to find out what you can do and it really shouldn't cost you anything to get started. We suggest the following sites as a great starting point to find out what you can do now and they're free!
www.greenfleet.com.au (they have a sustainable transport guide available in the "researchers" section of their website)
We hope we’ve helped.
Sustainable Purchasing Questionnaire
We've recognised the impact of our raw material purchases on the planet. In light of this we are committed to finding out which of our suppliers are engaged in sustainable activities and will look favourably upon them during our sourcing process.
If you're a potential supplier or would just like to copy our Sustainable Purchasing Questionnaire to use with your own suppliers, click here to download our Sustainable Purchasing Questionnaire.
Ferguson Plarre launches Victoria's first Hybrid truck
Together with Sustainability Victoria, Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses has launched the first hybrid truck to hit Victoria's streets. The transport sector produces 16.5% of greenhouse gas in Victoria – the second largest emitter. New technologies in the transport field promise to deliver some exciting greenhouse pollution reductions and Ferguson Plarre is helping to pioneer these initiatives. The Hino Hybrid both reduces exhaust emissions and improves fuel economy, cutting greenhouse gases by up to 25%. The hybrid is perfect for stop-start conditions, due to the combination of electric and diesel motors. It returns power from the brakes, actually running more smoothly than a normal truck. Reducing not only greenhouse emissions and fuel consumption but also diesel particle pollution. Sustainability Victoria contributed to the purchase of the truck and will monitor its performance, so that other businesses can benefit from the initiative.
Ralph Plarre, co-owner of Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses says “The purchase of this clean, green fuel-efficient diesel and electric truck falls in line with our company’s future move to our new green and eco-friendly premises later this year. Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses has had a long history in the State, and we intend to be baking our cakes and pies and delivering them to many more future generations. We hope other businesses will take Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses’ lead and jump on ‘the low emission’ band wagon.
Helping educate our children:
Here's an email from The Year 8 Enrichment Class from Taylors Lakes Secondary College:
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Dear Mr. Plarre,
Thank you very much for giving our class the opportunity to visit your factory. What you have done to make your factory more environmentally friendly has motivated us to make our school and homes greener. We were very impressed with all the improvements that you've made and how much energy you save.
Now that we have visited you, we have become inspired to make greener changes to our school like buying more water tanks, using energy efficient light bulbs, planting trees and using green energy, like you did with your factory.
We were very grateful that you gave us the opportunity to observe your factory and we hope to make our school green and environmentally friendly.
Thank you, again and good luck for the future and we hope that we become as green as you!
The Year 8 Enrichment Class.
P.S. Your cakes rock!!
Green website developer
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