reducing our environmental impact

We take a whole of product lifecycle approach to ensure our activities, products and services enhance the environment in the communities in which we operate.


Visy’s commitment to sustainable development means we take a whole of product lifecycle approach to ensure our activities, products and services enhance the environment in the communities in which we operate. We are committed to continually improving our environmental performance and minimising our impacts on the external environment. We are strongly committed to using natural resources responsibly and minimising the environmental impacts of our manufacturing processes. We seek to identify and manage environmental risks from our operations and any upstream or downstream processes; and to apply or influence best practice environmental principles.

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Managing our impact

All Visy sites have an environmental management system based on the structure of the International EMS standard ISO14001. All sites are internally audited annually, and third party auditors certify Visy’s paper mills at Gibson Island (Qld), Smithfield (NSW), Tumut (NSW), Coolaroo (Vic) and Reservoir (Vic) to ISO14001. Our objectives and commitment to environmental performance are documented in our Environment Policy.

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Reducing emissions, through efficiency and renewables

Visy is a significant generator of renewable energy, generating the equivalent of around 50% of our energy needs*. We utilise renewable process wastes such as black liquor, bark and biogas as well as timber waste to generate heat and electricity on sites. The carbon intensity of our energy use has reduced by 30% since FY2009.

* As at FY2020

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A renewable future

Visy has invested significant capital into clean energy at Tumut (NSW), Gibson Island (Qld) and Coolaroo (Vic) to co-generate heat and power from alternative fuels and renewable fuels. On 1 January 2020 we commenced a long-term agreement with the Lal Lal wind farm to purchase 100% of our electricity needs in Victoria and support the growth of renewable energy capacity. We have also completed a 1,920 kW roof-top solar installation at the Gepps Cross site, which will generate 40% of the site’s electricity needs.

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Reducing our waste to landfill

We are a leader in initiatives that reduce the volume of waste going to landfill – both in our own operations and through our recycling business. Visy’s packaging manufacturing operations recycled almost 95% of production waste in FY2020. Our recycled paper mills produce over 1.5 million tonnes of paper annually, having an enormous impact on increasing the volume of waste that does not go into landfill. Our co-generation clean energy power plant in Coolaroo, Melbourne reduces landfill by 79,000 tonnes per year by using waste to produce steam and electricity. In Brisbane, our clean energy multi-fuel boiler reduces landfill by an additional 12,000 tonnes per year.


Using water efficiently

While we require a significant amount of water to run our manufacturing operations, we strive to use water as efficiently as possible. We use a number of alternative water sources, including desalination and recycled water. More than 20% of our water requirements are obtained from recycled and desalinated sources. These alternative water sources have increased from 3.8% of total water consumption in FY09 to 23.5% of total water consumption in FY2019, reducing our use of fresh water sources. Water consumption across all our sites is monitored and reviewed in line with our commitment to use natural resources responsibly.  

Read more about our approach to delivering innovative packaging solutions in The Visy Story.