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Sustain: 04 Jun 2004

Sustain | NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development Newsletter

InterfaceNZ: the little company that keeps on winning international awards
With just nine employees, InterfaceNZ has won the top prize at the prestigious international Antron Design Awards three times in the last five years, against companies hundreds of times its size. Click here for further information.

‘Green’ Toyota Prius for Greenfleet

GreenFleet, a new programme designed to help businesses reduce the impact of transportation on the environment, now has one of the world’s cleanest and greenest cars, the revolutionary new Toyota Prius petrol/electric hybrid.

A recently-launched initiative of the Sustainable Business Network, GreenFleet works with companies throughout the country to promote transport efficiency by encouraging businesses to develop travel plans with their staff, to explore alternative fuels and vehicles and to plant native trees to off-set carbon emissions from their vehicle fleets.

At the delivery of the Toyota Prius in Auckland, chief executive of the Sustainable Business Network, Jami Williams, said transport accounts for 42 per cent of all carbon monoxide emissions in New Zealand.

She said New Zealanders now owned more than three million vehicles and more than 80 per cent of Aucklanders travelled to work by car.

“Vehicle pollution levels in Auckland are now comparable with those in New York, and they regularly exceed World Health Organisation standards.”
Climate change, the proposed carbon taxes under the Kyoto protocol, increasing traffic congestion and a dramatic rise in fuel costs were making the issue more urgent.

“We urgently need to find practical ways of managing energy use and reducing emissions.”

Ms Williams said hybrid petrol/electric cars like the Prius would play an increasingly important role in lowering pollution from vehicle exhausts.
The Prius produces significantly less exhaust emissions than those from a car of similar size while achieving petrol consumption of only 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres (64 miles per gallon), as measured by established international test procedures.

Toyota New Zealand environmental officer Andrew Davis said Toyota was proud to be a key supporter of GreenFleet.

“Sustainable business is an extension of Toyota’s corporate culture which is founded on two major principles – respect for people and continuous improvement. This extends naturally to respecting the environment and this has resulted in a high level of commitment to environmental issues within Toyota worldwide,” he said.

More than 200,000 Prius cars have been sold since 1997 when it became the world’s first mass-produced hybrid vehicle.

The latest model Prius was released in New Zealand late last year, and there is now up to a three-month waiting period.


Energy Management and the Bottom Line
For people who need to know how to reduce energy use and energy costs
This year, Massey University, in partnership with EECA, will run its Energy Management and the Bottom Line workshops in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

This four-day workshop is designed for:

Managers and technical specialists responsible for managing energy use in larger commercial facilities, manufacturing companies and government organisations, and

Consultants and those providing energy services and products who are seeking to capture the emerging business opportunities in energy efficiency.
Click here for further information.

ICANZ Sustainability Group Seminar

"Business Case for Insurance and Sustainability" and "Sustainable Development Reporting 2004 and Beyond"
5.00 pm, 8 June 2004 at various locations (via video link) in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin

Jeff Patchett - having joined State Insurance in 1971 Jeff is now Head of Human Resources and Sustainability at IAG NZ. His role includes Corporate Social Responsibility.

Wendy McGuinnes - is an Accountant with a Masters in Business Administration. She is currently Chair of the Institute of Chartered Acountant's Sustainable Development Reporting Committee.
Click here to view the flyer for location details and registration.

Corporate Transparency Course

It is increasingly recognised that practising good corporate governance is central to sustainable development and that good corporate governance structures encourage high standards of ethical and responsible behaviour.

With the recent release of the Securities Commission's Principles and Guidelines for Corporate Governance in New Zealand and the strong interest in the subject from investors and other stakeholders, companies and the not for profit sector can benefit from investing in learning more about corporate governance.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants is offering a 4-hour course presented by David O'Connor, Assurance Partner, BDO Spicers and Dr Rodger Spiller, Managing Director, Money Matters and Member of the Securities Commission. The objective of the Corporate Transparency course is to provide an understanding for what is meant by practising good corporate governance, adopting best practise within your organisation and corporate transparency.

The course is being presented in Christchurch on 10 June, Wellington on 11 June, Auckland on 14 June and Hamilton on 15 June. Further information is available at the ICANZ website.

CONFERENCE: International Conference on Sustainability Engineering & Science
7-9 July 2004 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Auckland
The International Conference on Sustainability Engineering and Science, has taken up the challenge of bringing together those from industry, business and government, along with engineers and scientists to discover the leading edge of sustainable technologies, the application of sustainability engineering and the tools that can be used to measure sustainability. Visit the website for further details and registration.


Prevention and recycling of waste: EU ministers confirm life-cycle approach, 18 May 2004 - The Commission's proposed life-cycle approach on prevention and recycling of waste has been given "clear recognition" by the informal environment Council. Decoupling and targets are still a long way off. Click here for the full story.

As Kyoto Struggles, Smaller-scale initiatives push ahead on global warming
Russian scientists this week delivered what could turn out to be a fatal blow to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. They advised President Vladimir Putin to reject Kyoto -- and if he heeds their advice, it will deal the final blow to the seven-year-old pact. But even as the fate of the protocol looks increasingly grim, a growing number of local groups, governments and businesses are willingly adopting Kyoto-like measures to cut harmful gas emissions. Click here for the full story.

Six EU states face action over CO emissions plans
Financial Times, 19 May 2004 - The European Commission is to start legal action against six European Union states for not submitting plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Greenpeace accuses Esso over Kyoto
Press Association, 18 May 2004 - A new advertising campaign from oil giant Esso was condemned by environmental campaigners today. Esso is running adverts in newspapers and on television to raise consumer awareness about energy use and to promote its environmental credentials. Greenpeace dismissed the adverts as corporate PR and accused the company of "running scared" of the Stop Esso campaign in which it is heavily involved. Click here for the full story.

Corporates warm to climate change: Response to carbon survey increases threefold
The Guardian, 15 May 2004 - Climate change is racing up the corporate agenda and has even touched ExxonMobil, according to an institutional investors' survey due out next week. Click here for the full story.

Only Nuclear power can now halt global warming
Global warming is now advancing so swiftly that only a massive expansion of nuclear power as the world's main energy source can prevent it overwhelming civilisation, the scientist and celebrated Green guru, James Lovelock, says. Click here for the full story.

Big Business On Borrowed Time In Race To Go Green: ANZ
The Age, 20 May 2004 - ANZ Bank has jumped on the environmental bandwagon and revealed that global warming may become an important ingredient in its corporate and institutional lending policies. Click here for the full story.

China's growing pains call for birth of green revolution
Financial Times, 25 May 2004 - China's industrial development is unsustainable because its people, resources and environment cannot cope. This assertion, published yesterday, was not the intellectual musing of a green pressure group. It was the conclusion of the State Environmental Protection Administration, a branch of Beijing's Communist government not known for rhetorical bombshells. Click here for the full story.

Forget Splitting Atoms, Split a Banana for Energy SYDNEY - Australian scientists have discovered what sportsmen and women around the world have known for years: bananas are a great source of instant energy. A new government-funded study is investigating the possibility of harnessing bruised or spoilt bananas - deemed not worth selling to consumers - to provide energy for 500 homes. Click here for the full story.
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