Case study: Mars Birdcare

Manufacturing South East Queensland (North)

Mars Birdcare is a pet food manufacturer. Its factory in Wacol, near Ipswich, produces food and treats for wild and domestic birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, and chickens.

They have been recognised as an ecoBiz Star Partner since 2017 due to the initiatives that are in place to manage waste, energy, and water use.

Key initiatives to reduce energy use

  • Contracted to offset 100% of their electricity usage from renewable energy.
  • Installation of LED lights in the production, warehouse, and loading areas, with movement sensors so that lights are off when not needed.
  • The boom gate used for safety and traffic flow is solar-powered.
  • Gradually replacing older motors with newer, more efficient ones.
  • A purpose-built insulated processing and packing room for birdseed sticks and treats was built. It has reduced the amount of space needed to be cooled down to 16°, while the rest of the packing room can be set up at 24°.
  • Regular review of processes to optimise efficiency and reduce resource use (e.g. optimisation of cooking speed, design of cooling tower internals).
  • Real-time electricity and gas consumption monitoring systems which helps manage peak demand.

Key initiatives to reduce water use

  • The factory only uses water sourced from six rainwater tanks (124 kL capacity) for cleaning and toilet flushing.
  • Restrictors have been installed on tap fittings.

Key initiatives to reduce waste

  • Recycling of cardboard, timber, bulk bags, paper, light gauge steel, aerosol cans, and also use co-mingled recycling.
  • Signage helps employees sort waste and use the correct bins.
  • Mars Birdcare work with its suppliers to reduce the amount of waste it receives (e.g. remove plastic wrap from pallets).
  • Changes in packaging have helped reduce waste (e.g. remove plastic windows and plastic hanger sticks).