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Government House commits to Zero Waste

Government House commits to Zero Waste with support from NZBCSD

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) today welcomed Dame Silvia Cartwright’s announcement committing Government House to the Zero Waste journey.

“NZ is estimated to produce the most waste per capita of all OECD countries. And while our waste production grew in recent years our OECD ranking for per capita GDP declined. This certainly indicates that other countries are doing more with less” Dame Silvia said.

“The amount of waste being sent to Auckland landfills has almost doubled over the last 10 years. We are recycling more but we are generating more waste at a faster rate.”

“We at Government House believe that it is simply not good or sustainable practice to throw potential resources into a hole and leave our children with a legacy of declining resources and the risk of poorly run landfills that can result in toxic leachate and greenhouse gas emissions. We have therefore set ourselves the task of working towards Zero Waste” Dame Silvia said.

Dame Silvia made this announcement at Government House today where she hosted the launch of The NZBCSD’s business guide to the “why” and “how” for Zero Waste.

“New Zealand is a wasteful country”, says Stephen Tindall, NZBCSD Chairman “Annually we dump around 7 million tonnes into our landfills and cleanfills. That’s around 2 tonnes of lost resources for every New Zealander. This is a cost to us and to future generations. Waste does not enhance customer or stakeholder value and therefore ultimately has no place in business. Committing to Zero Waste means committing to removing an endemic inefficiency from the system. I challenge all New Zealand businesses to commit to the Zero Waste journey.”

“Zero Waste is a concept that is growing rapidly in New Zealand and around the world. The concept is based on the understanding that all the materials that we utilise are resources and only become waste through poor management. Zero waste is akin to concepts like ‘zero accidents’ and ‘zero defects’, which are now well established in manufacturing. Subscribing to Zero Waste does not mean instantly eliminating every last piece of waste whatever the cost. Instead, Zero Waste is about setting the ultimate goal, and steadily working towards it. Fortunately, this goal also makes good business sense,” Tindall said.

The Industry Guide to Zero Waste has been written to show businesses how to capture the significant benefits of eliminating waste. The Guide is not a technical manual, but a roadmap for the Zero Waste journey. The intent is that all businesses will respond to this challenge and use our experiences to assist them.

“We have launched this Guide on the eve of the National WasteMINZ Conference. This key event will report New Zealand’s progress in implementing the National Waste Strategy, showcase the success of those already on the Zero Waste journey and identify priorities for New Zealand’s progress towards Zero Waste,” Tindall said.

The Guide describes how eight NZBCSD member companies have embarked on the Zero Waste journey, and details their learnings and successes. The effects of Zero Waste on business are significant and range from slashing operating costs to totally revolutionising the business model. The participating companies were 3M New Zealand, Living Earth, Palliser Estate Wines of Martinborough, Port of Tauranga, The Warehouse, URS New Zealand, Waste Management NZ, and Watercare Services.

Zero Waste consultants, Waste Not Ltd, were the project consultants.

Businesses interested in adopting Zero Waste are invited to join the NZBCSD Zero Waste programme by signing up on the website. By doing this, businesses have the opportunity to select one of the eight NZBCSD Zero Waste Project Participant companies as a mentor.

“Zero waste offers a long-term competitive advantage. And it’s the right thing to do!” JAMES MARSHALL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, 3M NEW ZEALAND LTD

“Moving forward, Waste Management NZ Ltd sees eco-efficiency and carbon constraints as key drivers for our business. We are working closely with our clients to deliver practical solutions that will help decouple economic growth from materials’ consumption. To this end we are striving to transform wastes into valuable, recoverable resources.” KIM ELLIS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WASTE MANAGEMENT NZ

“Converting our various urban organic wastes into compost is a double whammy for the environment. It diverts our largest single waste stream by far from landfills where it creates leachate and the significant greenhouse gas methane, and instead it produces saleable compost, a vital ingredient in sustainable land management.” ROB FENWICK, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LIVING EARTH LTD.

“The Warehouse is committed to reducing its environmental impacts and believes its successful Zero Waste strategy epitomises how businesses need to re-think the ‘old’ ways and think to the future... a sustainable future.” GREG MUIR, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, THE WAREHOUSE

“At Palliser Estate in Martinborough, we are committed to preserving and enhancing our environment. As winemakers we are very dependent on the weather and our soils to provide the fruit from which we make great wines. We aim to preserve our soils and minimise any practices, such as the generation and disposal of waste materials, that could alter our climate, or otherwise impact on the ecosystems on which we rely. We are delighted to be one of the pilot companies moving towards Zero Waste.” RICHARD RIDDIFORD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PALLISER ESTATE

“Sustainability is about recognising that our environmental responsibilities go beyond minimising waste. We must ensure that our actions do not compromise the environment for future generations.” JON MAYSON, CEO, PORT OF TAURANGA

“Watercare’s mission is to provide high-quality water and wastewater services that are economically viable, environmentally sound, socially responsible and responsive to customers’ needs. To support this we implemented an environmental management system and a cornerstone to this system is waste minimisation. For us this means promoting the efficient use of drinking water, minimising leaks and overflows and improving the quality of treated wastewater.” MARK FORD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, WATERCARE SERVICES

“As in our work with clients, we are continuously looking for ways to improve performance through innovation and initiatives. Waste minimisation is among the steps we have taken. We recognise this is a journey and we are constantly looking to challenge the way we think and operate. We do so further encouraged by the knowledge that we are just part of a wider group of New Zealanders travelling the same road together.” MARK DRURY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, URS NEW ZEALAND

The NZBCSD is a coalition of 41 leading businesses united by a shared commitment to sustainable development. The NZBCSD mission is to provide business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development, and to promote eco-efficiency, innovation and responsible entrepreneurship. NZBCSD members believe that Sustainable Development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come.

The Industry Guide to Zero Waste Guide is available in hardcopy from the NZBCSD or on the website at http://

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