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Kiwi firms join internat'l Climate Neutral Network

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for the Environment

4 June 2008 Media Statement
Embargoed until 12.20pm

Kiwi firms join international Climate Neutral Network
See also Trevor Mallard's speech at www.beehive.govt.nz/mallard

New Zealand businesses are set to strengthen the kiwi presence and leadership on the United Nations' Climate Neutral Network - with 16 joining so far and others poised to sign up, Environment Minister Trevor Mallard said at a Wellington meeting of the international network today.

"The Climate Neutral Network run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides a good opportunity for businesses and organisations to share carbon neutral strategies and collaborate on innovations to tackle climate change. It's great to hear that kiwi companies make up about half of all the companies/organisations from around the world who are members of this fledgling network so far," Trevor Mallard said.

I'm told that sixteen New Zealand businesses have joined to date and more are in the process of applying for membership.

"The government signed New Zealand up to the network when it was set up in February, as one of the four original countries. Tomorrow New Zealand is host country for the United Nations World Environment Day, and as we focus on its theme of moving towards a low carbon economy, it's excellent to see these kiwi firms making international commitments to reduce their carbon emissions. I hope others will follow their lead."

The Climate Neutral Network meeting was hosted in Wellington on the eve of World Environment Day by State Owned Enterprise Meridian Energy and Crown Research Institute Landcare Research – which are both members of the network.

"Climate change should not be viewed just as a cost – it offers economic opportunities and spinoffs for New Zealand as more and more consumers worldwide demand climate friendly goods and services. Companies that seek to reduce their carbon emissions and embrace sustainability throughout their business, and that aim for carbon neutrality can get a competitive edge over firms that ignore climate change and do nothing about their pollution and waste," Trevor Mallard said.

"As this network grows in stature, it will be a valuable source of knowledge for countries, cities, organisations and businesses which want to exchange ideas about moving towards lower carbon consumption, and then carbon neutrality."

Background information and information about the New Zealand members of the Climate Neutral Network is attached.

--

Note to journalists:

The United Nations Environment Programme's Climate Neutral Network (http://www.unep.org/climateneutral) was launched in February 2008 as a tool for outreach, communication and awareness-raising on climate change around the globe.

The website essentially encourages widespread international, national and regional ‘buy in’ to carbon neutrality at various levels of society. It is a platform to funnel initiatives and source information on carbon neutrality from around the world. It engages the interest of developing countries by providing a forum for linking with developed countries and accessing expertise.

So far, sixteen New Zealand companies are listed on the website.

New Zealand Members

Sempre Avanti Consulting (SAC) was the first New Zealand business to be registered at the United Nation’s Climate Neutral Network. It is also CarboNZero® certified, has joined the Green Logistics Consultancy Group and the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network.

Wright Communications is a CarboNZero® certified business and has joined the Climate Neutral Network. It also works actively with the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development and participates in the Sustainable Business Network. As part of its business activities it has purchased a smart car for client visits, using satellite navigation to optimise travel.

Urgent Couriers is the only New Zealand carbon neutral courier service, measuring and reducing its carbon emissions and offsetting its remaining emissions by purchasing forest regeneration carbon credits through the CarboNZero® scheme. As part of the process to reduce emissions, Urgent Couriers has amongst other things increased the size of its pedal fleet, increased the number of low emission vehicles in its fleet from 0 to 25 per cent and implemented acceptable vehicle guidelines for new contractors to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Warren and Mahoney is the first architecture company in New Zealand that has adopted an environmental protocol for all its projects, promoting use of sustainable sourced timber, low emissions paint systems, waste management systems and energy efficiency. This is aimed at helping to develop and promote a minimum environmental standard for all future buildings across the industry. Warren and Mahoney is also CarboNZero® certified and are promoting the GreenBuildTM product database.

Landcare Research NZ Ltd is one of New Zealand’s leading research institutes with a long history in providing research on climate change, sustainability and urban design. Landcare Research has also developed the CarboNZero® certification scheme, based on over a decade of research on climate change, greenhouse gas measurement and carbon monitoring. The programme is now helping businesses in New Zealand and internationally to measure, reduce and offset their carbon footprints.

Footprint Adventures is the first New Zealand tourism company to add a carbon surcharge to offset its emissions using the CarboNZero® programme. Carbon neutrality and emission reduction have also been at the forefront of all planning and development and were used as a criterion when choosing adventure activities, travel itineraries and accommodations options.

Quakebake is the first and only New Zealand and potentially even international certified organic bakery that is offsetting its emissions from baking using the CarboNZero® programme, not only restoring New Zealand’s native forests but also enhancing biodiversity at the same time.

Christchurch International Airport welcomed 5.5 million passengers in 2006/07 and is New Zealand’s second largest airport. The airport occupies a unique position economically, as the South Island’s biggest and most strategic air connection to the world’s trade and tourism markets. The airport has also become the first airport company in the Southern Hemisphere to attain certified carbon neutral status through the CarboNZero® scheme, offsetting all of its business operation related emissions.

Kaimira Venture Ltd is the second winery to achieve CarboNZero® certification and is committed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from its vineyards, winery and distribution activities.

Meridian Energy is the first New Zealand energy provider supplying its customers with certified carbon neutral electricity and was also the first company to sell carbon credits on Trade Me. Meridian Energy is committed to generate electricity from renewable energy sources, and its windfarm and landfill gas projects reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 350,000t CO2 equivalent. Meridian’s new Wellington office has been certified by the New Zealand Green Building Council as New Zealand’s first five star green building, with a "New Zealand Excellence" rating.

The New Zealand Wine Company is the worlds first CarboNZero® certified wine company and the first to sell its certified products internationally. The Grove Mill, Sanctuary Wines and Frog Heaven wines have since then become the natural choice for people concerned with food miles and climate change. The "Grove Mill" story has been a very successful one from a marketing and branding perspective with the sales of Grove Mill wines soaring since its carbon neutral certification. The New Zealand Wine Company is also actively trying to improve its environmental impacts in other areas, for example by using organic fertilizer, heat recovery systems, featuring an award winning ‘cold cellar’ and waste management systems.

Trade Me Limited has joined the growing number of businesses that have undergone carbon neutral certification of their business related emissions. Trade Me has also launched New Zealand’s first public trading platform allowing people to invest in carbon credits and support projects that contribute to reduced emissions, which otherwise may not have happened. Trade me also supports the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary protecting endangered species.

Revolution ID is a New Zealand based company that provides web based carbon footprint management software. Its enterprise software is aimed at multinational, heavy industry and geographically distributed organisations such as government and councils that want to take a continuous assessment, target driven approach to carbon footprint management and may need to comply with several different greenhouse gas programmes at the same time. It tracks its scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions on a monthly basis and sets targets to reduce its footprint over the next few months by implementing energy, water and waste efficiency programs and will be offsetting the unavoidable emissions at the end of the financial year. Revolution ID uses video and telephone conferencing extensively and consolidates appointments requiring travel to two or three days a week by using group calendars for visibility of other's schedules.
Signify is a web development company. One of Signify’s core values is to "Be Good". It is committed to a low carbon footprint and has worked with CarboNZero® to measure its footprint, is committed on an ongoing basis to continuing to reduce it and has purchased twice as many carbon credits as it uses. As much as possible it uses recycled stationary supplies and also recycles waste and has their own composting system. Signify uses buses instead of taxis wherever possible. None of the team have paid car parks to encourage the use of public transport to and from work.
Antipodes Water is a water bottling company and is part of the CarboNZero® programme. Antipodes Water aims to be carbon neutral and carbon positive through the development of a wetland and native forest re-planting project on the site of its bottling facility.
Adventure South seeks to minimise or eliminate the impact its business has on the environment through the introduction of an environmental plan. The company has developed systems and processes which focus on its environmental footprint with an aim to ideally reduce this to zero. It measures, manages, reduces and mitigates its emissions through the CarboNZero® certification programme.

Another 10 companies are in the process of submitting for registration.


ENDS

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