Sustainability
|Oceania

SUEZ and local boat manufacturer celebrate 10 years of championing recycling

Ten years ago, Australia’s largest aluminium boat manufacturer, Telwater, approached SUEZ in a bid to reduce landfill waste and embark on a sustainability journey.
Today, with the help of the SUEZ team, Telwater consistently diverts about 77 per cent of its waste from landfill each month. 

“At SUEZ, our purpose is to shape a sustainable environment, so we were thrilled when Telwater came to us sharing that vision,” SUEZ’s state sales manager for Queensland, Liesl Hull, said. “We couldn’t be prouder about reaching this 10-year milestone.” 

Employing 350 locals at its Coomera headquarters on the Northern Gold Coast, Telwater is the largest aluminium boat manufacturer in the Southern Hemisphere, making boats and trailers across Quintrex, Stacer, Savage, Yellowfin and Move Trailer brands. 

“During the 10 years we’ve been partnering with Telwater, we’ve diverted about 3,262 tonnes of waste from landfill, which would be enough to fill 82 football fields or 23 Olympic-sized pools,” Liesl says. “That’s across 12 waste streams which include general waste, paper and cardboard, confidential papers, aluminium oxide (from aluminium sheet offcuts), paint thinners, raw timber, treated timber, used machine oil, chemicals, soft clear plastics, e-waste and oil rags.

“That means fewer carbon emissions and more waste recycled, protecting our natural waterways which are the playground of Telwater’s customers.”
Telwater operations manager Brad Drake, who has worked with the company for 20 years, says it’s been amazing to witness sustainability efforts improve during the past decade. 

“Our goals 10 years ago were different to our goals today”, Brad said. “Back then, we had no recycling program in place. As a company that encourages our customers to get out on the water and enjoy nature, we wanted to play our part in preserving the natural environment.”

Purchasing manager at Telwater David Jacobitz says the boat manufacturer’s targets today centre around reducing the amount of waste it produces per boat. 

“Telwater’s growth has picked up pace since the pandemic switched Australians’ recreational dollars from overseas holidays to local entertainment, so it’s important our sustainability efforts keep up with our growth,” David said. 
As well as the audits and reporting, SUEZ also conducts supply chain assessments which identify areas that can prevent waste coming onto site in the first place.

“For instance, SUEZ pinpointed black plastic wrapping as waste destined for landfill, so we’re working with suppliers to stop it at the source and prevent it arriving on site,” David said. “We’re also asking suppliers to avoid sending us retail packaging where possible so we can cut back on waste.”

Another important enabler to move the sustainability needle centres around staff training on correct waste segregation. 

“SUEZ has also placed a full-time representative on site who is dedicated to promoting waste segregation,” David added. 

“With our vast employee base, continuous education and the dedicated SUEZ support person on-site are key to keeping us focussed. While the environmental benefits are clear, we also save money on waste levies by diverting waste from landfill and reducing the amount of waste we produce as a business.”

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