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New Toitū Carbon Assess Tool Enables Carbon Measurement In Supply Chains And Small Businesses

Toitū Envirocare’s new Toitū carbon assess platform enables large enterprises to collate and track the combined carbon emissions of their New Zealand-based suppliers and gives small businesses an easy and affordable way to measure their carbon emissions and benchmark against similar organisations.

Toitū carbon assess gives New Zealand businesses visibility across their climate-related supply chain risk and enables them to work together with their suppliers to reduce carbon emissions, says Toitū Envirocare General Manager Strategy & Partnerships Steve Dixon.

“A lot of consideration has gone into meeting the needs of both ends of the conversation – the enterprises with sizeable supply chains and the SMEs – for compliance and the costs,” says Mr Dixon. “For enterprises this standardises the data and simplifies data capture. For SMEs it is an affordable and accessible step to carbon disclosure and a gateway to become certified.”

Toitū Envirocare is collaborating with EECA, which part-funded the tool to make Toitū carbon assess available to New Zealand businesses. EECA is seeking to provide a range of resources to their stakeholders and members to realise sustainability and energy efficiency.

EECA CEO Andrew Caseley said EECA surveys consumers and businesses regularly and their research shows there’s heavy demand for tools like the carbon assess platform. “Seventy-five percent of businesses agree they can take climate-positive action, but less than a third say they know where to find good information about how to do it. EECA works closely with New Zealand’s largest energy users to get their emissions down, but we know there’s a gap in the tools available for SMEs. This will enable them to measure and reduce their emissions.”

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Mr Dixon said “Increasingly consumers, stakeholders and staff expect large businesses to take responsibility for the impact of their supply chains. This tool enables companies to help their suppliers to collectively act on climate change. Large New Zealand businesses are seeking more insight into their carbon emissions and climate risk over their supply chains – considered ‘scope three’ or upstream and downstream emissions. Until now there has been no easy way for large business to measure these emissions in a practical, cost effective way.”

Mr Dixon said the supply chain data collected from Toitū carbon assess can contribute to Scope 3 commitments under leading climate action initiatives like Science Based Targets Initiative and New Zealand’s own Climate Leaders Coalition.1 The Climate Leaders’ Coalition, whose members represent almost a third of gross domestic product (GDP), have promised to measure and cut their climate impact. The companies also plan to cut their suppliers’ climate pollution by 2025. Members include Fonterra, Air NZ, NZ Post, Spark, The Warehouse, Z Energy, Westpac, Foodstuffs, Stuff, and Ngāi Tahu Holdings.

Speaking to the supplier end of the supply chain, Mr Dixon said SMEs make up 97% of New Zealand’s businesses and account for about 30% of New Zealand’s business carbon emissions but are generally not engaged or supported in measuring or reducing their carbon emissions.

“Toitū carbon assess also enables small businesses to share their carbon footprint with their large business customers, benchmark their footprint against similar-sized organisations, and compare their carbon footprint on an annual basis, using easily accessible business information such as electricity and fuel receipts, flight information, and waste receipts.”

“Even though the data produced in Toitū carbon assess will not have the level of assurance that comes with Toitū certifications, it is an easy first step for a small business to start on the climate action journey.”

Mr Dixon said Toitū carbon assess is designed as software-as-a-service. Suppliers or small businesss users will pay $30 per month for access to the tool, or enterprises can subsidise the subscription fee to encourage their suppliers to report on the platform.

“We hope the Toitū carbon assess platform will be implemented by many of Toitū’s existing clients and Climate Leaders Coalition members, particularly those with substantial supply or value chains and those interested in mitigating their climate risk,” said Mr Dixon.

“We are also seeing carbon emission requirements being written into tenders and codes of conduct for Government agency and local Government contracts. They will be able to use the Toitū carbon assess platform for tenders to gather the carbon emission data they need from contractors.”

Don Shepherd, Co-Founder at food and drink company Citizen, says Toitū carbon assess will help his “food rescue” company to understand its carbon footprint and measure its impact.

"Citizen's mission is to help rebuild a broken food system. We want to run a business that’s as sustainable as possible and we're committed to measuring our impact,” says Mr Shepherd.

“As a start-up with less than a year active, Toitū carbon assess is a first step we can take to get an understanding of our footprint and begin managing our impacts in a meaningful way. It’s a good entry level step that demonstrates our commitment and a great opportunity to work with Toitū, an organisation that has deep expertise and credibility.

“Toitū carbon assess is really accessible for a small business in terms of both time and financial resource required. It’s incredibly user friendly. It doesn’t overwhelm you with the science but is a good way to get more familiar with measuring carbon. At the end you get an attractive report that provides a nice visual of your carbon impact. It also benchmarks your performance against others in your sector - which is insightful.”

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