How green is my Moonee Valley?

Article image - How green is my Moonee Valley? Moonee Valley Mayor John Sipek inspects the new chiller that has saved Council money and greenhouse gas emissions.

Moonee Valley City Council's award winning green shopping system has saved Council an estimated $30,000 a year and saved the environment from 400 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year in a single purchase.

A year ago, a new system was set up at Moonee Valley City Council to require staff to think about buying green wherever possible.

The green finance and procurement system led to the purchase of a new Australian made chiller, which alongside a number of other energy saving purchases has cut Council's power bill by 50 per cent.

Made by Melbourne company PowerPax, the chiller provides cooling for the building by chilling water to approximately 7ºC. This water is then pumped to a number of fancoils located throughout the building.

The chiller is one of PowerPax' unique oil free chillers utilizing magnetic bearing compressors. The Evaporative type installed by Moonee Valley City Council further increases the efficiency and does not require any water treatment.

Since their inception in 2003 PowerPax chillers have grown to lead the Australian market previously dominated by overseas multinationals. The chillers are the most energy efficient available and are now the preferred choice of 50 per cent of Australian building owner/operators.

The cold water absorbs heat from the air flowing through the coil. The water then returns to the chiller where the heat absorbed is removed by the chiller's heat exchanger and the cycle begins again.

Moonee Valley's green finance and procurement system won a major prize at the Procurement Australia Excellence Awards in Melbourne last August.

Since then, Moonee Valley has been contacted by about 10 other Local Governments keen to find out about setting up their own green purchasing systems.

Council's finance team also gave a presentation to Sustainability Victoria.

The new finance system enables Council to track and report all its green purchases.

Those purchases over the past year have included:

  • cornstarch spoons to replace plastic spoons that cannot be recycled and metal spoons that tend to go missing
  • electric hand dryers, resulting in lower green house gas emissions
  • recycled balustrades and boardwalk decking
  • recycled plastic park benches
  • energy efficient lighting for The Clocktower Centre, a function and meeting venue
  • 100 per cent recycled paper for all in-house printing
  • recycled business cards and envelopes
  • reusable coffee cups for all staff

Moonee Valley Mayor John Sipek said consumers had the power to make a difference – whether buying for a household or the whole Municipality.

"This is saving Council money and reducing our impact on the environment. That other Councils are following Moonee Valley's lead is extremely encouraging," he said.

"We're still learning about environmentally friendly purchasing but we want to keep learning and keep growing greener.''

Environment and Conservation Portfolio Councillor Shirley Cornish said Council would continue to recycle and make environmentally efficient purchases to further help the community.

"Sometimes green purchasing is about making the decision to not buy something because it can be borrowed instead,'' he said.

"Done properly, green purchasing makes very good sense economically as well as environmentally."

For more information contact Facilities Contracts Officer Craig Perry on (03) 8325 1753.