With Sullair’s Environment, Health, and Safety Manager Geoff Nevard
Geoff Nevard has been building his knowledge and experience around environmental health and safety systems for well over a decade, following 20 years in electronics manufacturing and production. He moved into EH&S as part of his role as plant manager at a large multinational manufacturer. “The plant manager was responsible for EH&S in every sense of the word and I found I had a real interest in it”, explains Geoff. His interest peaked, he then completed formal EH&S training and gained further experience in other health and safety roles throughout his career before starting at Sullair in mid 2021.
There are a few different aspects to Geoff’s role but in summary, it’s making sure everything we do as an organisation is being done in a safe and sustainable manner. “Effectively I make sure we remain compliant with state regulations and Sullair LLC and Hitachi organisation initiatives. As well as looking at compliance and audits, I make sure training and education is in place for Sullair staff. This is particularly important for supervisors because most of our work gets done out in the field”.
Geoff’s role has a heavy focus on compliance in many areas across the company. As a result, he has developed considerable knowledge around Hitachi’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Sullair Australia’s implementation of those goals. “Hitachi has a long-term goal to be completely carbon neutral in their entire supply chain by 2050”, explains Geoff. “But in the shorter term, their goal is that all offices and factories of Hitachi group companies will be carbon neutral by 2030.” This is no small task to implement, but something Sullair Australia is committed to across its national network.
The main priorities are to switch to greener, more sustainable energy solutions by offsetting emissions, and reducing the use of non-sustainable energy sources where possible. But what does this look like today? Well change has already begun to be rolled out in various locations.
Sullair Australia’s head office in Dandenong, Victoria currently uses recycled water to flush toilets. Energy efficient lighting solutions (sensor activated) are also installed internally and high bay halogen lighting is being replaced by LED throughout the warehouses.
“We’re also purchasing ‘green’ electricity at all our sites and examining how to install solar power at our branches”, says Geoff. “The Townsville branch already has solar power installed and we are building a bespoke facility in Perth that will have solar panels installed, along with water recycling, EV charging stations, and energy efficiency lighting from the start”, Geoff Nevard, Sullair’s EH&S Manager.
One of Geoff’s responsibilities is to report the company’s greenhouse gas emissions resulting from electricity and liquid fuel use so it can be offset. “We monitor and report our vehicle fuel usage to Sullair in the US, as they consolidate and offset for the group, but over time the objective is to replace the use of our vehicles to a renewable energy platform. Currently we’re transitioning suitable fleet vehicles to hybrid electric, and will eventually transition to a full electric vehicle (EV) platform as they become available”.
There is also general education happening in a day-to-day sense to promote and encourage green habits amongst staff – this includes reducing use of packaging that goes to landfill, recycling used office supplies where possible, practising energy efficient behaviours such as switching appliances off and encouraging use of cycling and public transport. Sullair Australia encourages staff to share their ideas about how the company can do better when it comes to how the business operates. The company’s recent annual conference held in Melbourne offered an opportunity for presentations to staff, by staff on topics including electrification of portables, remote monitoring of equipment (IoT data), compressor applications, and carbon neutral vehicles and workplaces. The outcome was lively discussions, lots of questions and the sharing of plenty of inspiring ideas and potential solutions. “Our strategy is to buy green, reduce our consumption of energy, move to off grid power by installation of solar panels, offset our remaining emissions and eventually reduce our use of liquid fuels by replacing our fleet with EV’s or other emerging alternatives. We’re looking for energy efficiency generally wherever we can.”
Interested in finding out more about Sullair’s sustainability practices? Contact us