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Environmental Champions Awarded


7 September 2011

Environmental Champions Awarded

Two environmental champions were recognised at the Packaging Council of New Zealand's Environmental Packaging Awards with the Lion Employee Award for their ongoing contribution to environmental excellence within their organisations .

Karen Warman - Resene

Karen Warman spearheaded Resene's PaintWise programme which recycles or disposes of unwanted paint and paint tins. The idea was born out of a customer complaint ten years ago. A lady wanted to dispose of her empty paint can and the council wouldn't take it even though it was recyclable. Karen and her team constructed a programme that would recycle paint containers, find uses for waste paint and plastic packaging. PaintWise was first trialled in 2004.

In the last seven years, the Resene PaintWise service has collected over one million paint containers; recycled over 200,000kgs of steel and 100,000 litres of paint has been donated to community groups - much of which was used to cover graffiti.

While the Resene PaintWise concept was originally designed to cater for just Resene paint, it has accepted all brands of paint since launch.

Spring Humphreys - Fonterra

Long time eco-champion, Spring Humphreys was seconded away from his operational role at Fonterra in 2003 to head up a new environmental initiative. The aim was to minimise, if not eliminate, waste.

Key initiatives were to maximise recycling, maximise transport efficiencies, minimise waste sent to landfill and provide equipment that was health, safety and hygiene compliant.

The programme which was initially trialled at five sites around New Zealand has emerged as a model of best practice and eco-efficiency now being implemented across 136 of Fonterra's sites, stores and offices.

When the programme started seven years ago, over 18,000 tonnes of waste was going to landfill and last year that dropped to just under 5,000 tonnes. The company is diverting 92% of waste back into reuse or recycle.

Spring says in the last seven years Fonterra has recycled over 45,000 tonnes of cardboard and plastic. "So that has put the 'eco' into economics. It has turned a cost stream into a profit centre. But the beauty of the programme is that the staff are the ones that come up with the initiatives and they are responsible for driving them."


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