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Heritage building recycled for Eco Manufacturing Centre

Friday, 16 March 2012
By Print21

Fuji Xerox Australia has taken its commitment to eco-friendly manufacturing and recycling to new heights this week with the official opening of its Eco Manufacturing Centre in Sydney’s Rosehill.

The centre, which the company claims produces zero landfill waste, was established to support its continuing commitment to end-of-life products stewardship, which sees the site taking in used Fuji Xerox components and recycling or remanufacturing (reconditioning) the items to be used again in the marketplace.

The parliamentary secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell (pictured), who officiated the opening ceremony on 16 March, said the company’s choice of location for the Eco Centre was highly symbolic, as it was a long-standing heritage listed building which had been given a new lease on life, just like the components that now come through the facility.

“It’s an old building and it’s been renewed,” said Farrell, who cut the official opening ribbon during the ceremony, “and [Fuji Xerox] is now recycling products that would otherwise have been disposed of. Fuji Xerox is a world leader in this area of recycling. They’re ahead of the pack.”

According to Fuji Xerox Australia’s operations manager, Julius Dhanu, the building itself was renovated to incorporate the company’s dedication to sustainability and environmental consciousness.

“We are aiming to get to a five-green star rated building, and there are a number of items we have introduced,” said Dhanu during the opening tour. “The carpet has a recycled component in it. The paint for the walls was low solvent, so there was no smell of new paint when we first moved in. There are solar hot water panels on the roof, and rainwater tank for toilets and gardens.”

More importantly, however, is that the new building has provided the company with a state-of-the-art location to continue the recycling efforts which began at the company’s old Zetland location.

According to Dhanu, the new Centre is able to re-use, recondition or recycle around 85 per cent of the used components that it receives from businesses in Australia and overseas. The parts that cannot be salvaged are separated and sent off to various recycling companies for recycling. The company says that nothing it handles ends up in landfill.

While Fuji Xerox has been prominent in the world of environmental commitment, Dhanu says the re-use or recycling of components not only benefits the environment, but also the company’s bottom line.

“We send a lot of our products overseas to our sister companies. Japan is our biggest customer, then Hong Kong and other centres in the Asia Pacific region,” said Dhanu. “They send used stock here and we remanufacture and send it out again.

“It’s a saving for the company. We can supply Fuji Xerox Australia at reduced cost, but when we sell to the Fuji Xerox companies overseas we charge [the normal rates], and it is an income to us that can be ploughed back into the division for R&D as well.”

This sentiment was echoed by Fuji Xerox Australia’s managing director, Nick Kugenthiran (pictured), who highlighted how being sustainability-focused can pay off in big dividends.

“The object of this facility is to increase the scope of our sustainability,” said Kugenthiran, during his welcome speech, “but we’ve invested close to $22 million on these activities and we’ve seen a return of around $240 million, a good return. It’s good for the bottom line.”

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