25/09/2019 - 20:23

Perth business goes carbon neutral

25/09/2019 - 20:23

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Family-owned fertiliser producer Baileys has been the given the green light as a carbon neutral certified business, as part of an overall strategy to become more environmentally friendly.

Perth business goes carbon neutral
Richard Bailey (left), James Bailey, Kim Bailey, Genevieve Bailey and Faye Bailey are all involved in the family business.

Family-owned fertiliser producer Baileys has been the given the green light as a carbon neutral certified business, as part of an overall strategy to become more environmentally friendly.

The certification comes after Baileys commissioned Pangolin Associates to conduct a greenhouse gas assessment to identify the company’s total emissions footprint.

Pangolin recently confirmed Baileys' total emissions of 2,461 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for the 2019 financial year; a tiny portion of Australia’s total estimated emissions for the year to March of 539 million tonnes.

Baileys has purchased carbon credits to offset its emissions and has plans for further action.

Fourth generation family member and co-general manager James Bailey said he felt motivated to go green after the birth of his son, Bodhi.

“When he was born I started to look at things differently,” Mr Bailey told Business News.

“There’s also been the FridaysForFuture campaign going on, with the school children striking, which has opened my eyes to things.

“Greta Thunberg, who started the strikes in Sweden almost a year ago, has also been quite inspirational.

“That’s really driven us to think that’s something we should be doing as a company and for future generations.”

Mr Bailey, along with his sister Genevieve and brother Richard, has taken over management of the business.

His father Kim Bailey retired as managing director in 2017 and currently serves as non-executive chairman, while his mother, Faye, manages payroll and some HR. 

The business uses an old granulation plant for fertiliser production, which Mr Bailey said was relatively unique, being one of only three in the state.

“This has always given us an advantage to granulate our own homogenous compound fertilisers,” he said.

“We have our energy range (of fertiliser), which incorporates meat meal and humates in the formation, helping feed soil life and add carbon back to the soil.”

Mr Bailey said the company would upgrade the milling, mixing and control system of the granulation plant in the coming 12 months, which he expected would improve efficiency by 60 per cent and reduce carbon emissions accordingly.

“This will lower our production costs, so it’s a win-win,” he said.

Baileys’ other emission sources come from the composting process for the raw materials used in its potting mix, contributing 25 per cent of emissions.

As the products compost, they break down and release carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, Mr Bailey said.

The current composting process will be upgraded to a ‘mobile aerated floor’ composting system, using blowers to pump oxygen into compost piles, which Mr Bailey said would reduce composting times and potentially greenhouse gas emissions.

“The MAF investment will help free up some space for potential products,” he said.

The company said it would also consider the Food Organics Garden Organics three-bin system to help reduce emissions with waste; this system will eventually roll out to all councils by 2025.

“Getting more carbon diverted from landfill and back into farmland and the carbon cycle is certainly something we want to be involved with,” Mr Bailey said.

Baileys currently has a 70-kilowatt solar system providing 15 per cent of its power usage, and is exploring options for more solar to further reduce emissions.

Mr Bailey said the company also planned to implement the Redcycle model – a recycling program for soft plastics – into its operations.

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