We have an active long-term sustainability program aimed at improving the environmental performance of all our business activities. The program focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing energy and water consumption, and reducing the amount of waste generated in the manufacturing process.
Over the last few years Rheem has undertaken a number of programs to achieve these goals, including:
- the installation of lower energy consuming LED lights throughout our factories
- the installation at our Rydalmere factory of a multi-million dollar high efficiency gas oven, reducing our gas consumption by 40%
- the implementation of automatic timer controls and variable speed drive controls on manufacturing equipment
- the installation of a photovoltaic (PV) array on our Rydalmere factory roof to capture solar energy to for use in our manufacturing process
For the last decade Rheem has also been focussed on reducing our water usage. Improvements that have been implemented include the introduction of rainwater harvesting systems and the recycling of discharge water from water heater testing processes. In the early years of the program our water saving initiatives reduced water use at our Sydney headquarters by 5.8 megalitres, a reduction of 29% of our average usage. These strong results have been maintained and we’ve reduced water use by 75% over the past 10 years.
In 2019 Rheem’s global parent announced a new environmental target for our facilities - that we achieve zero waste to landfill in our global manufacturing operations by 2025. Our operations team are currently developing plans to ensure that we reach this target.
Critical to the success of these sustainability programs are our people. To ensure that we are able to reach our sustainability goals, a number of environmental focussed committees staffed by front line employees have been formed. More broadly, improving the environmental awareness of our employees is an ongoing focus. For example, in 2019 our product development engineering team underwent training to help them design product packaging that has a lower impact on waste streams. The exercise will have a direct impact on Rheem’s ability to meet our Australian Packaging Covenant commitments.