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Sustainability at Confluence Water helps wildlife and boosts morale

6 MAY 2024

Sustainability at Confluence Water helps wildlife and boosts morale

Confluence Water’s dedication to sustainability permeates every aspect of their work. Environment and Sustainability Manager Emma Hale recently came up with the initiative to introduce Return and Earn container recycling to Confluence Water’s work sites, allowing staff on site to contribute to a more sustainable workplace, while also raising some money in the process.

Contracted by Sydney Water to design, construct, maintain, and manage the northern service area, Confluence Water is the joint venture formed by Downer Utilities, Ventia, and Jacobs. It integrates a robust focus on environmental sustainability into the core of its operational ethos.

They commenced their Return and Earn initiative in September 2022.

“We originally just set up a cardboard box in the head office in Chatswood. Then we started rolling it out across our construction sites and encouraging teams to get onboard,” explained Sustainability Advisor Erin Alley.

The different teams decide how they want to spend the money from Return and Earn: head office donates to Sydney Wildlife Rescue, while some teams put the funds towards barbeques or breakfasts.

“It really boosts morale, especially as the site teams begin work so early,” said Erin.

Sydney Wild Life Rescue was the chosen charity due to the existing relationship between the organisations.

“We work closely with Sydney Wildlife Rescue to relocate native fauna when required on our sites, and they also provide information sessions about native fauna to our teams,” said Erin.

The container recycling is also an effective way to help manage waste, as the work sites are temporary and don’t have commingled recycling.

“It’s a great way to encourage teams to separate their drink containers from other waste and make sure they are recycled,” she said.

The initiative has been well received across the organisation since launching, with lots of site supervisors keen to get involved.

“They’re always asking for more Return and Earn collection bags, and I’ve seen lots of supervisors put up handwritten posters to promote container returns on their sites.

“To see that dedication coming from a site supervisor is great, as they already have so much to look after on site,” said Confluence Water Environmental Advisor Priya Murthy.