Award-winning tap manufacturer commits to sustainability targets

Image credit: Sussex

Australian tap manufacturer Sussex has committed to new sustainability targets as it continues to highlight value of local craftsmanship.

The announcement comes as Sussex reveals it is now partnering with carbon neutral housing developer Nightingale Housing as its preferred tapware provider over the coming three years.

The pledge involves a commitment to reduce energy and landfill output by 10 per cent each year, and reduce packaging and water usage by 5 per cent per year. This adds up to a 60 tonne reduction in Sussex’s carbon footprint every year until it achieves its ultimate goal of net zero.

Sussex’s creative director, Vanessa Katsenevakis said becoming carbon neutral by 2023 was a result of years of focused effort towards a measurable goal.

“We see this as a big opportunity to instil optimism about the future of the local manufacturing industry in Australia, and to show what’s possible,” she said.

Sussex​ employs more than 65 artisans across four sites in Melbourne’s north. Manufacturing more than 400 products across seven core collections, the company ensures every component is manufactured locally through a vertically integrated system.

It is one of the largest Australian tap manufacturers to own and operate its own foundry, where brass shavings during production are melted down and recycled to form the brass bars that go on to become tapware.

In 2013, two years after Katsanevakis took over the business from her late father, the company conducted its first waste, energy and manufacturing audits to set it on a path towards more responsible operations.

Sussex has since become a member of the Victorian Government Climate Change TAKE 2 Pledge Program. Between 2016 and 2020, Sussex has installed LED lighting upgrades at all four of its facilities, leading to greenhouse gas emissions reductions of at least 30 per cent at each site.

“We are ardent supporters of the Australian manufacturing industry, and we want to instil the role it has in younger generations too. Particularly now, there needs to be a focus on supporting local jobs and preserving local knowledge and skill. If we can do that at the same time as harnessing innovative new technologies, I think we can see a revival of our manufacturing industry,” Katsanevakis said.

In 2018, Katsanevakis was awarded Young Manufacturer of the Year by the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Over the past five years, she and her husband George have spoken at the Victorian Manufacturing Showcase, National Manufacturing Week and to Victorian secondary schools about the value of local manufacturing and industry.