Bickford’s is an Australian privately owned and managed beverage manufacturer. Today it holds 62% of market share in premium adult cordials, but this is only part of their story. The company has now grown to 16 brand portfolios and over 120 products.
Bickford’s Lime Juice Cordial is perhaps best known and much more than a household name. In 2005 the product joined places and services of significance on the Bank SA Heritage Icon List, an acknowledgement of excellence and Australian ingenuity.
Bickford’s has a robust export business including South East Asia, China, Hong Kong and UAE. It is a major supplier to Australia’s 3 main supermarket chains, including private label. As well as these larger outlets, there is a strong presence in cafés, restaurants, pubs and clubs, and the route market, which takes in the petrol and convenience stores channel.
Culture of sustainability
Values important to company founders back in 1839, Integrity and Quality, remain true, and today Bickford’s adds to that workplace sustainability. The manufacturer has had an Environment Committee since 2006. In 2012, the industry body Food SA recognised Bickford’s efforts through the Food SA Sustainability Award and Best Practice Award.
Sustainability initiatives previously taken
Before engaging Pangolin Associates for a comprehensive Energy Audit, Bickford’s had already moved on many efficiency initiatives. The company reduced electricity usage through the installation of skylights and C-Bus systems, the latter allowing virtual control of lighting.
Other energy saving measures included:
- Installing variable speed drives (VSDs) for improved line control,
- Upgrading the reverse osmosis (RO) plant to reduce energy intensive water treatment,
- Installing a night compressor to better align running and capacity,
- Introducing laser guided vehicles to reduce transport waste and recharge during off-peak hours,
- Eliminating air leaks in the factory with 6 air meters on site.
The company also reduced the footprint of its car fleet, moving to 4 cylinder, diesel and hybrid vehicles.
Bickford’s reduced water consumption by 26%, 24 ML per year. In 2010 the company saved $19,000 from compressor running costs.
Finding greater efficiency opportunities today
As a participant in South Australia’s Business Sustainability Alliance (BSA) Energy Efficiency program, Bickford’s needed advice from the energy efficiency specialists. Pangolin Associates’ audit team met the experience and accreditation requirements for a level 2 energy audit, which complies with Australia and New Zealand Energy Audits Standard AS / NZ 3598:2000.
Pangolin’s Energy Audit and associated services:
- Established an energy baseline,
- Prioritised opportunities for Clean Technology Investment Program (CTIP) funding,
- Prioritised efficiencies to save costs,
- Identified ROI for implementation of efficiencies.
If fully implemented, benefits identified are extensive:
- Expected annual energy savings of 35.2%,
- Cost savings of more than $320,000,
- Energy use reductions of 5,467.7 GJ (including electricity savings of 529.9 MWh),
- Carbon reductions of 1,341.1 tCo2e-e.
Through Pangolin’s recommendations, Bickford’s received a Clean Technology Investment Program (CTIP) grant of $72,500. This will fund a voltage optimisation project to further reduce the manufacturer’s energy load. Pangolin’s trusted partner Energywise will undertake this work.
Future initiatives from the Energy Audit
New sustainability initiatives are on the agenda. In addition to the voltage optimisation, Bickford’s is investigating solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays and LED replacements for the security and perimeter lighting. The LED lighting and solar was identified and recommended as part of Pangolin’s audit report.
Pangolin Associates’ knowledge in the field of energy monitoring and management was the reason for their engagement. They assembled a comprehensive team of experts in the areas of refrigeration, lighting and voltage control to provide a suite of solutions tailored to Bickford’s requirements.
Pangolin’s Director of Audit and Research, Dr Davide Ross, was invaluable. He was able to raise questions, investigate, challenge paradigms, and find outside of the square solutions.
Their report was comprehensive and was written and presented in a way that all levels of management, not just the engineers, could understand. It contained detailed information and clearly written summaries.
Colin Stuart, Compliance Manager, Bickford’s Australia
Business Sustainability Alliance (BSA) Energy Efficiency Funding
Bickford’s Australia and several other Pangolin clients in South Australia have received BSA Energy Efficiency funding. This assisted them in undertaking energy audits and training.
BSA is an initiative of the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources & Energy, SA Water, Zero Waste SA, and The Environment Protection Authority.
We now have several clients who have received BSA Energy Efficiency funding. Where appropriate and non-competing we have successfully connected clients for knowledge sharing.