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Shell Awards Businesses For Reducing Emissions

WEDNESDAY 4 JUNE 2008

Shell Awards Businesses For Their Focus On Reducing Carbon Emissions

Two Auckland businesses, focussed on reducing carbon emission, have been awarded funding grants from the Shell NZ Sustainability Fund.

Recipients of the first round of Shell funding were CarbonGroup Limited and Auckland University of Technology, AUT Tech Park, receiving $30,000 and $14,000 respectively. The funding will be used for the development of initiatives that will not only reduce their own environmental impacts, but are also applicable beyond their own businesses.

The 300,000 small and medium sized businesses in New Zealand have an important role to play in reducing our carbon footprint. However, in many cases these businesses either lack expertise, or the time and resources, to tackle the issue. CarbonGroup Limited has devised the ‘Low Carbon Zone’ project to raise awareness amongst a group of businesses in Auckland’s Victoria Quarter.

Lead Carbon Auditor, Phil Jones explains, ``By measuring the carbon footprint of participating companies in a localised area we will enable them to understand how their activities affect the wider environment. From this understanding, we can begin to take steps to manage those activities more efficiently, lowering both their carbon footprint and operating costs.’’

Taking a firm philosophy that emissions management must make financial sense, CarbonGroup hopes that in time Victoria Quarter can be promoted as New Zealand’s first ‘Low Carbon Zone’. ``SMEs won’t commit funds to emission management unless they see results - we want to show them that greening your business is not only just about emissions and efficiency, it’s also a source of competitive advantage.’’

AUT Tech Park will use their grant to take a leadership role in sustainability by measuring its carbon footprint and then passing on the knowledge, tools and insights to other SMEs to encourage further expansion of the program.

AUT Tech Park Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Kirkpatrick says, ``We wish to be seen as a positive influence and contributor to the protection and maintenance of our environment. As a business incubator and commercialisation environment focussed on start up business with High Growth potential we can influence practice through the introduction of sustainability processes for ourselves and our companies.’’


Rachel Depree, General Manager, Sustainable Business Group at the Ministry for the Environment, says: ``The Ministry supports the proactive approach that Shell has taken in providing a fund to specifically help small to medium enterprises advance innovative sustainability projects.’’

The Shell New Zealand Sustainability Fund is a partnership between Shell New Zealand and the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Fund aims to create a culture of sustainable business practice among the SME sector that will have positive outcomes for society, the economy and environment.

The judging panel consists of senior representatives from the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, Ministry for the Environment and Shell New Zealand.

Closing dates for the next rounds of grants is Friday 25 July 2008. For more information see www.shell.co.nz.


ENDS

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