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Landcare Warehouse’s Support for Enviro-Mark

Landcare Research Welcomes The Warehouse’s Support for Enviro-Mark

Crown Research Institute Landcare Research says it made the first approach to The Warehouse Ltd to support its Enviro-Mark NZ™ eco-efficiency and environmental management programme in a bid to gain greater support and buy-in from businesses.

Enviro-Mark was developed in the UK as an Internet-based step by step process for improving the management of environmental, health and safety performance, to be used not only by individual businesses, large and small, but also by companies in their supply chains. Landcare Research has adapted Enviro-Mark for New Zealand conditions, and both markets and supports the system in New Zealand.

Industry New Zealand co-funding is aimed at assisting twelve of The Warehouse’s small to medium local manufacturing suppliers to achieve external certification. The Industry NZ grant of $75,000 was matched by The Warehouse and its suppliers.

The Warehouse acted as the umbrella organisation for the grant application on behalf of the suppliers. It is not the end recipient of the funding and will not benefit financially, although it and other users of Enviro-Mark NZ™ can expect longer-term benefits as a result of increased eco- and cost-efficiency.

Landcare Research’s Science Manager for Sustainable Business Dr Richard Gordon says that within New Zealand, in spite of our clean green image, there is concern about the importance that organisations give to their environmental performance. He says it has been noted by Standards New Zealand that New Zealand brands itself internationally as 100% pure, yet uptake of environmental management systems by New Zealand businesses is decreasing.

“We therefore decided to approach some big organisations and corporations such as The Warehouse to see if they would lend their support for Enviro-Mark certification among their suppliers,” he said. “We were delighted that they agreed and they have devoted a significant amount of time and effort – and some funding of their own – to facilitate this joint project.”

“It’s great to see large New Zealand business putting their weight behind eco-efficiency and environmental management systems.”

Dr Gordon said The Warehouse was already encouraging their suppliers to think along these lines with a statement in The Warehouse 2000/2001 annual report that, "Because the achievement of certification to international environment management standards is beyond the resources of many of our suppliers, The Warehouse supports suppliers undertaking the Enviro-Mark NZ™ internet-based five-step certification programme."

Enviro-Mark NZ provides on-line support for users and external certification for performance at five progressive levels:

Level 1: ENVIRO-MARK NZ BRONZE – Awareness of and compliance with the most commonly applicable New Zealand Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) legislation. This is the minimum standard that society can expect of organisations.

Level 2: ENVIRO-MARK NZ SILVER - In-house HSE policy based on environmental impacts assessment, signed off by CEOs, communicated to staff and available to all stakeholders.

Level 3: ENVIRO-MARK NZ GOLD - Monitoring of objectives to achieve continuous
improvement in, for example, eco-efficiency, energy saving and waste minimisation; this is the stage where companies can show through independent audit that they are "walking the talk". It should also help to demonstrate that Environmental Management is a win-win for society and their business – one that includes cost savings and reduced liabilities.

As part of the Industry NZ programme, Landcare Research will provide access to Enviro-Mark NZ, and support for users in achieving the possible gains for their businesses (eco-efficiency, cost savings, etc). Auditing of the companies’ performance will be done by independent auditors, not by The Warehouse Ltd. These audits will be conducted to the standards required of Enviro-Mark that are consistent with international auditing standards.

The programme cost allocations and responsibilities are clearly set out in the Industry NZ funding application.

Landcare Research in its work on corporate sustainable development is developing and promoting solutions and tools for organisations that wish to evaluate and improve their environmental, social, and economic (“triple bottom line”) performance. Enviro-Mark NZ is part of that suite.

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