Sustainability isn't just a part of Visy. It's fundamental to everything we do - from the products we make, to the way we make them. We believe sustainability is central to our future as a business, so it plays a part in every decision we make.
We all know that sustainability has a lot to do with the environment. But at Visy, we see it as more than that. For us, it's also about how we affect the world around us, and all the people who live in it. As a sustainable business, we believe we're better able to help everyone - whether it's by making our employees safer, our local community healthier, or our customers more profitable.
We also believe sustainability works for our business on a practical level. It increases market opportunities, cuts unnecessary cost, increases profit and encourages a culture of innovation among our employees.
And of course, our sustainable approach means we're doing everything we can to limit our impact on the environment. It's our aim to take responsibility for the entire lifespan of our products - from when they're first conceived, to when they're finally recycled and made into something else.
Environment and Sustainability
At Visy, we're focused on achieving three core sustainability objectives:
Objective 1: Economic sustainability
Relationships count for a lot at Visy. We know that building them and maintaining them takes time and energy, so we've taken care to nurture our partnerships with customers and suppliers. We know that long-term, sustainable relationships are fundamental to our success as a business. So, we focus on working together with our customers to identify their needs and develop innovative solutions to make them more profitable. We believe that when our customers succeed, so do we.
We also show our commitment to economic sustainability through our investments in technology, equipment and employees. Our success is supported by continuous research, innovation and investment into best practice operations.
Objective 2: Environmental sustainability
Like many companies, our goal is to effectively manage our environmental impacts. What makes us different, though, is how far we push this. We're not content to just comply to regulations - we seek to maximise energy efficiency, maximise recycling, minimise water use, and minimise waste to landfill.
In our eyes, waste is as an opportunity. And we see it as our job to make the most of it; whether it's by converting recycled materials into innovative packaging, or by extracting energy from what would otherwise become landfill.
Objective 3: Social sustainability
As a major Australian recycling and manufacturing company, we recognise that we have a major impact on the world - one that reaches well beyond our 5,500 employees across Australasia. It's our goal to ensure this impact is a positive one.
We're focused on helping create a more sustainable and inclusive society. Whether it's by contributing to the community, choosing environmentally friendly suppliers or providing a safe workplace for employees, we always aim to behave responsibly.
It's up to us to help build the world we want to live in. And we're determined to do our bit.
Environmental performance and reporting
At Visy we measure our environmental performance to ensure we minimise any negative impacts on the environment, while maximising the positive.
With our Environment Policy (click to download pdf) , we clearly set out our commitment to reduce waste, minimise lifecycle impacts and efficiently utilise natural resources. This policy is aligned to the significant environmental impacts of the activities, products and services that we provide.
What does this mean? In simple terms, that we take responsibility for all the stages of our products' lifespans. It's only by really understanding how our products will be made, used and disposed of that we can minimise their environmental and social impact. So we look at the bigger picture to work out where we can improve.
Product stewardship at Visy involves everything from stipulating conditions to suppliers, to documenting and controlling our internal processes. Basically, we influence everything we can to improve disposal, reuse and recycling systems.
Australian Packaging Covenant
Visy has been a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) since its inception in 1999. For Visy, the Covenant is more than just a reporting mechanism. The APC allows us to work with all packaging stakeholders - customers, consumers, suppliers and employees - to develop packaging solutions with minimal environmental and social impacts throughout the product's entire lifecycle.
Visy has taken active steps to ensure we're well positioned to implement the activities required under the new APC. We've developed Visy's approach to the Covenant - "The Year One APC Action Plan (click to download pdf)" - as an extension of the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines found with the APC. This is the guide we use to ensure that employees engaged in the packaging development process always consider potential impacts on the environment.
In line with the requirements of the APC, Visy is:
- Assessing ranges of existing packaging
- Assessing new packaging at the point of design
- Sourcing raw materials from responsible suppliers
- Documenting and reporting its performance
Our 2012 APC Annual Report (click to download pdf) released in March 2013, demonstrates our performance against the first year of our Action Plan.
Site Self Monitoring Data
Visy's major sites in NSW operate under the control of site specific environmental protection licences issued by state environmental regulators. Licence conditions relate to pollution prevention and monitoring, along with cleaner production through recycling and re-use and the implementation of best practice. Some licenced sites are required to undertake continuous monitoring or periodic monitoring to provide feedback to plant operators, the community and to confirm compliance with specified concentration limits to regulators.
We are required to report to regulators immediately of any major pollution incidents and to report annually on the status of compliance of each site to the environmental licence conditions including a summary on all environmental monitoring data, required under the licence.
Recent changes to NSW Environmental Legislation, requires all holders of environment protection licences that undertake monitoring in accordance with Licence conditions, to now make the monitoring data publicly available. Licence holders are also required to report on any exceedences of limit conditions and correction logs on the status of any incorrect data that may have been previously published.
Commencing in July 2012, Visy will be publishing its environmental monitoring data from its major pulp and paper mill facility in Tumut on the Visy website. This site's comprehensive environmental monitoring program, monitors the impacts from its operations to air, water and land. Monthly reports summarising exceedances and/or correction logs will also be published.
Visy Tumut, operates under an Environmental Management System that is independently certified to ISO 14001. The environmental monitoring data is closely scrutinised by the trained and experienced operational personnel as part of the monitoring and review of the site's environmental performance under this system.
Report Whitepapers, Click to download PDFs below:
Air - Tumut NSW
Water & Land - Tumut NSW
Summary of Exceedances
Summary of Correction Logs
Emergency Management Response
Visy recognises that emergency situations arise unexpectedly and that to combat the uncertainty around emergency situations, effective planning, sound management and rehearsal are the keys to success in the event of an emergency occurring at a Visy site.
Site Emergency Response Plans
To ensure there is consistency, Visy has developed minimum standards and procedures that define the requirements for sites to develop emergency preparedness and response plans.
These procedures are to ensure that all sites consider the following in their plans:
- Assess the risks of all potential emergency scenarios
- Identify the potential for immediate risk to health, life, environment or property
- Develop emergency response procedures to immediately respond to the emergency situation
- Ensure emergency personnel trained in the emergency response procedures
- Establish procedures to notify and update any relevant stakeholders including emergency organisations, authorities, neighbours or other community members on the emergency situation
- Conduct regular drills to test the plan against potential emergency situations
- Conduct a review of the plan on an annual basis or after any emergency situation
External Notification of Emergencies
All personnel and contractors are required to notify their supervisors or site management of emergency situations immediately. If the emergency is likely to trigger an External Alert, Emergency Services and Authorities shall be notified in accordance with the notification requirements in the relevant jurisdiction or state (refer to Emergency Services and Authorities in relevant jurisdictions below). The site manager or delegates have the responsibility to notify the relevant emergency services or authority.
Visy and the Emergency Services will ensure community members, facilities or other commercial /industrial premises that may be potentially affected by the emergency situation, are notified. Visy sites through their planning for emergencies will identify neighbouring properties for external emergency notification and to provide regular updates.
Should any member of the community have any questions or concerns in regards to any emergency situation that is occurring or has occurred at a Visy site, you can contact Visy as follows:
Phone: 13 VISY (13 8479)
Fax: (03) 9247 4747
Email: Enquiry form
The location of Visy sites in Australia can be found by clicking on Location map and enter postcode.
Types of Emergencies
The type of emergencies can be classified into three types:
This is an emergency that occurs in a localised area of the site that is quickly contained or controlled. There is no potential adverse impact to people or the environment off-site.
Examples are a small fire, small spills, medical emergency, unstable plant operation or plant break down. This type of emergency is dealt with on-site by site emergency response personnel with the support from relevant emergency services and authorities where required.(i.e. Fire Authority, Ambulance, Police etc.)
This is an emergency that occurs on-site that has the potential to affect all personnel on-site.
This type of emergency has no potential for off-site impacts. Examples may be fires, chemical spill, or gas leak. The initial response will be from the site emergency response personnel until control is assigned to the responding Emergency Services personnel (ie. Fire Authority, Ambulance, Police etc).
This is an emergency that occurs on-site and has potential for adverse impact on the environment or external communities. Examples are large fires, large spills of chemicals or process water that cannot be contained on site. The initial response will be from the site emergency response personnel until control is assigned to the responding Emergency Services personnel (i.e. Fire Authority, Ambulance Police etc.).
Australian & New Zealand Emergency Services