Magazine article New Zealand Management

Degussa: Survival of the Energy-Fittest: Something Far More Important Than Profitability or the Planet Was at Stake When Degussa's EnergyWise Award-Winning Management Team First Looked Seriously at Energy Efficiency in the Mid 1990's. It Was a Matter of Staying in Business

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Degussa: Survival of the Energy-Fittest: Something Far More Important Than Profitability or the Planet Was at Stake When Degussa's EnergyWise Award-Winning Management Team First Looked Seriously at Energy Efficiency in the Mid 1990's. It Was a Matter of Staying in Business

Article excerpt

"We'd been established by DuPont with no real say in structuring the original investment or the business side," recalls Tom Barratt, chief executive of the Morrinsville-based hydrogen peroxide producer. "We were just a manufacturing unit, but we knew we were operating efficiently and we needed some successes. We needed concrete proof."

Buoyed by earlier success at introducing ISO9000 on site, they decided to go for the environmentally oriented 14001 standard.

"We were the sixth in New Zealand to get 14001," says Tom, "but the first in DuPont's network." Introducing systems to meet the standard helped save around $500,000 in energy and raw material usage.

In 1998 they were acquired by German-based multinational Degussa. Sustainability and energy efficiency were on the agenda again for quite different reasons.

"Germany's had a strong green movement for many years," says Tom. "Our new parent's corporate culture encourages concern for the environment."

The New Zealand operation now provides reports on emissions and the environmental impact of its site along with the usual financials. The information is used in the annual environmental impact statement Degussa has produced for many years now. …

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