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Westpac drives down C02 emissions

14 May 2008
Westpac drives down C02 emissions

Westpac New Zealand will remove over 500 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere as it renews its vehicle fleet over the next 12 months.

The bank announced today a programme whereby it will replace all current vehicles with more environmentally efficient vehicles targeted at achieving ongoing reductions in carbon emissions per customer.

The first phase of the programme will see the introduction of the Toyota Prius, which utilises state-of-the-art hybrid petrol/electric technology, for consumer related roles such as mobile mortgage managers. This move alone will halve carbon emissions per vehicle replaced.

Westpac currently has over 100 vehicles up for renewal within the next 12 months. When combined with initiatives across the fleet, including reviewing the use of larger vehicles, Westpac’s reduction in total emissions will be equivalent to over 500 tonnes of CO2 per annum.

Westpac’s Head of Corporate Responsibility, Suzie Marsden, said environmental and social sustainability were pillars of Westpac’s business. “Improving our company vehicle fleet is a logical step on this journey.”

“Our focus is not about buying credits to offset our impact, but to actively target a reduction in CO2 output per customer. This approach is about changing behaviour, not excusing behaviour.”

The announcement was welcomed by the Chief Executive of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, Peter Neilson, who said vehicle emissions were a major source of greenhouse gases and pollution, causing poor health – and fleet management had a vital role to play in the bid to protect and improve the country’s quality of life.

“The Westpac fleet decision shows the importance of embedding sustainability principles in corporate procurement programmes.

“Westpac’s leadership by example is important. New Zealanders are concerned about air quality and climate change and are looking to businesses to help solve them solve these issues,” Mr Neilson said.

Toyota New Zealand CEO Alistair Davis was delighted Westpac had chosen to replace the bulk of its vehicle fleet with its hallmark environmental vehicle the Toyota Prius.

“In the face of growing concerns over climate change and sustainability the Toyota Prius represents a practical option for companies to both help the planet and lower their costs. Toyota is very pleased to partner with Westpac in this effort,” said Mr Davis.

The 1.5 litre Toyota Prius emits just 106 grams of CO2 per kilometre travelled and its engine has just been named Green Engine of the Year in the 2008 International Engine of the Year Awards. The vehicle also has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

The first Westpac Toyota Prius is expected on New Zealand’s roads within the next month.

– ENDS –

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