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Air New Zealand wins New Zealand’s top sustainability award

Media Release

Embargo - 9.30pm 17 November 2016

Air New Zealand supercharges its way to win New Zealand’s top sustainability award

Air New Zealand has been named the overall Supreme winner of the 2016 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.

Judges said the company had demonstrated true corporate leadership in sustainability since launching its Sustainability Framework a year ago.

The framework sets out social, environmental and environmental goals, priorities and targets for six areas: Our Communities, Our People, Carbon, Nature and Science, Tourism, and Trade and Enterprise.

Action items included the bold move to transition its existing car fleet to electric vehicles (EVs), saving 65,000 litres in fuel each year. The judges were impressed that Air New Zealand did not wait for a pending announcement on a government subsidy for EVs but instead has forged ahead with its plans.

Furthermore, the company challenged other New Zealand corporates to follow suit, which stimulated CEO-level sustainability conversations throughout the country.

Air New Zealand recently formed an alliance with Mercury, supported by Westpac, to launch an initiative to encourage the uptake of EVs in corporate fleets in New Zealand. So far more than 30 organisations have pledged to transition at least 30% of their corporate fleets to electric in the next three years. This total private sector commitment of more than 1,450 vehicles will increase the number of EVs on New Zealand roads by more than 75%.Along with the significantly lower running costs of electricity, this could remove almost three million kilograms of carbon emissions annually.

Sustainability permeates Air New Zealand’s business from the purchase of fuel efficient aircrafts to recycling and repurposing old uniforms, diversity workplace programmes, identification of Te Reo speakers on board aircraft and environmental programmes to preserve New Zealand’s natural environment. Furthermore, Air New Zealand’s sustainability framework is guided by an international panel of experts that challenge and advise the airline. All the airline's initiatives can be found here.

Rachel Brown, Sustainable Business Network (SBN) Chief Executive says over the past year there had been a significant upswing in the number of businesses taking a systematically sustainable approach.

“Air New Zealand’s very public commitment has had a big impact on the speed and uptake of sustainability from business.

“As one of the nation’s biggest burners of carbon, it is setting a fantastic example of how it is possible to set big aspirations to operate in a sustainable manner. It has called on an internationally-renowned group of experts to push it on its strategy and delivery. The scale of the challenge is huge but it is determined to succeed.

"Air New Zealand's integrated company-wide approach means it is now being recognised as the nation’s greatest contributor to sustainability.”

This year’s NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards recognised 22 other organisations’ and leaders’ sustainability efforts at tonight’s awards.

Travis Atkinson, Executive General Manager of NZI and principal partner of the Sustainable Business Network says: “As an organisation that provides business insurance for a growing New Zealand, being sustainable is at the heart of the way we do business, so we salute the SBN for helping New Zealand businesses change the way they think and reshape how profit is made.”

The NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards, which are now in their 14th year, celebrate the contribution organisations and individuals are making to transforming New Zealand to a more sustainable nation. They focus on four transformation areas that are key to the future direction of sustainability in New Zealand: Renewables, Community, Mega efficiency and Restorative. The supreme award, NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand, is awarded to a business that has performed outstandingly well in all aspects of sustainability.

Photos of winners:

NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards 2016 results:

Sustainability Champion Winner – Barry Coates, Green Party, formerly Oxfam and The University of Auckland Commendation – Gareth Morgan, The Morgan Foundation

Cadence Communications Communicating Sustainability Winner – Better NZ Trust

EcoPro Cleaning Co Community Innovation Winner – Ecotricity Commendation – Kiwibank Banqer
Commendation – Little Yellow Bird

Airbnb Community Impact Winner – Sustainability Trust
Commendation – Good Neighbour Trust

Ricoh Mega Efficiency Innovation Winner – Ecotricity Commendation – Energy and Technical Services
Commendation – Method Recycling

Auckland Council Mega Efficiency Impact Winner – Kiwi Experience Commendation – Fulton Hogan/Tauranga Airport Authority

Renewables Innovation Winner – NZ Bus Commendation – Scion Commendation – Flick

Renewables Impact Winner – Air New Zealand Commendation – ChargeNet

Yealands Family Wines Restorative Innovation Winner – Ekos
Commendation – Junk Run

Restorative Impact
Winner – Ceres Organics Commendation – We Compost
Commendation – Zing Bokashi

EECA Business Energy Management
Winner – NZ Bus
Commendation – Fonterra Edendale site

NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand
Winner – Air New Zealand
Commendation – Ceres Organics


NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards – winners’ stories

Sustainability Champion
Barry Coates (The University of Auckland and Green Party, formerly Oxfam)
Barry is an expert on a wide range of sustainability issues. A man of huge integrity, he is described as ‘walking the talk’, living a low impact life and leading the way for others to do the same. As the Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand for 10 years, Barry championed and led campaigns around climate change, fair trade, the extractives industry, organics and the shift to sustainable agriculture. He has done an immense amount of advocacy with decision makers, both in New Zealand and overseas. He attended many of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conferences, lobbying on the complexities of the agreements.
Barry has also been a frequent and compelling face in the media. In particular he has talked about the impact of climate change on vulnerable people and the measures that the New Zealand Government and businesses must do to stop polluting.
Barry recently worked at Auckland University, setting up a sustainability programme for the 21stcentury. He is now an MP for the Green Party, where he is influencing national policy to have significant positive changes, while using his prodigious energy, intelligence and amicable style to change minds and behaviours.

Cadence Communications Communicating Sustainability
Better NZ Trust
The Better NZ Trust has been #LeadingTheCharge since January 2015. With a vision to create environmental, financial and health benefits for all New Zealanders, it educates and helps the adoption of zero carbon renewable energy technologies. The main focus for 2016 has been educating the New Zealand public about the benefits of switching to an electric vehicle.
The Better NZ Trust has worked at getting as many people as possible to see and experience electric vehicles. Two major campaigns have consisted of a road trip from Cape Reinga to Bluff and a film tour with electric vehicle superstar Chelsea Sexton. Nearly 30 different locations were visited across New Zealand.
Communications were aimed at local and national media. Through events, The Better NZ Trust has reached over 10,000 people. The road trip was featured on TVNZ, TV3, CTV and Dunedin television with an estimated total outreach at over 750,000 people.
As a result of the success of these two campaigns, The Better NZ Trust was asked to work with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to organise and promote International Drive Electric Week in New Zealand.

EcoPro Cleaning Co Community Innovation
Kiwis are becoming more aware of the urgency to act on reducing emissions and Ecotricity helps through a number of initiatives.
It is the only supplier of carboNZero certified electricity in New Zealand, sourcing from 100% renewable non-thermal generation including wind, hydro and solar.
Heavily supporting the uptake of electric vehicles (EV), Ecotricity has developed the ecoSAVER price plan with up to 45% off peak savings for EV charging. It is also a leading supplier of EV chargers and its EV Buyers Guide assists consumers in EV purchasing decisions. Ecotricity is the only electricity retailer in New Zealand whose vehicle fleet is 100% electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
To increase education its invoices include CO2 savings by comparing electricity consumption with the national emission averages.
The company is 49% community owned through its Joint Venture partner Pioneer Energy, which is 100% community owned. Dividends are put back into the community or invested into new renewable generation. Its target is to save 10,000,000 kg of CO2 over the next 12 months.
Ecotricity is a new entrant to the electricity market but already has access to 90% of all residential and business sites across 18 networks. Consumers range from residential sites to corporate brands such as Les Mills, Fulton Hogan, Faro Fresh, AUT and more. It has grown 290% over the last 12 months.

Airbnb Community Impact
Sustainability Trust
Sustainability Trust is a social enterprise with diverse range of services and programmes, all of which contribute to its overarching vision of an environmentally, socially, economically and culturally sustainable Wellington region.
Its mission is to provide a one-stop-shop for advice, resources, services and products that influence and improve the wellbeing and sustainability of households, communities and businesses.
As a social enterprise, Sustainability Trust feeds all profit into the delivery of these programmes, along with additional third party funding support. In the last 12 years, Sustainability Trust has installed insulation in over 17000 houses.
The Trust’s community programmes are addressing the social problems of poor quality housing. Wellington Curtain Bank and Warm Fuzzies are free support services for low-income families. The Curtain Bank donates curtains from the Wellington public to families. In addition, the Education team provides waste audits to businesses and schools to reduce their waste to landfill and reduce their environmental footprint.
Since 2010, there have been 400 Warm Fuzzies home performance assessments and 8,500 curtains installed. The Trust’s award winning eco-centre has served more than 13,000 visitors, 70 community events and collected 75 tonnes of e-waste, diverting it from landfill. 80 waste audits in schools and businesses have been conducted and 300 sustainability workshops held.

Ricoh Mega Efficiency Innovation
Ecotricity is the only supplier of carboNZero certified electricity in New Zealand and the only electricity retailer whose vehicle fleet is 100% electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
Ecotricity has combined carboNZero certification of electricity with innovative pricing plans to support the uptake of electric vehicles and solar generation. Its invoices compare electricity consumption with the national emission averages and show cumulative associated CO2 savings. Further, the company has combined a social element by partnering with Pioneer Energy which is 100% community owned.
The company’s goal is to save 10,000,000 kg of CO2 over the next 12 months. Every customer is contributing towards emission reductions by supporting the construction of new renewable developments. For each customer that converts from a petrol or diesel car to an electric vehicle, 3,000 kg of CO2 is saved annually.

Auckland Council Mega Efficiency Impact
Kiwi Experience
In 2014, Kiwi Experience adopted a “green not mean” strategy that is now core to the company’s business operations. New Zealand’s original bus adventure company is committed to protecting the environment through a sustainable growth strategy.
In addition to switching to a digital travel guide, eco-friendly welcome packs and changing supplier contracts, Kiwi Experience’s impacts come through:
Fuel and emission savings: Drivers were sent on a SAFED course to create a habit of more fuel efficient and safe driving. As a result, fuel consumption per passenger decreased 23%.
Product innovation: Kiwi Experience installed glamping tents as an eco-friendly answer to increased demand for accommodation. The tents are powered by solar pods and broken down at the end of season. 13 glamping tents were installed and there were over 4,000 bed nights around the country.
Community projects: Kiwi Experience matches one dollar for every passenger and donates all money to Kiwi Encounter, New Zealand’s largest Kiwi conservation centre
As one of the larger coach operators, Kiwi Experience understands the need to address a sustainable tourism future for the environment and the communities that are core to the company’s product.

Renewables Innovation
NZ Bus
With a largely diesel-heavy fleet and electric vehicle technology developing rapidly, NZ Bus needed to act quickly to be in a position to best meet the needs of future public transport users.
Thinking beyond the prevailing assumption that diesel hybrids provide the best transitional technology towards fully electric vehicles, NZ Bus’ commitment to innovation led to its decision to invest in Wrightspeed electric powertrain technology.
The Wrightspeed powertrain works by using electric motors (powered by batteries) to drive the wheels. The energy created by braking is converted to electricity, recharging the batteries on the go. When the batteries do run low, an on-board range extender (which could run on any fuel including biofuel, landfill gas and natural gas) kicks in. Once battery technology improves, the range extender can be removed to create a fully electric vehicle.
The Wrightspeed electric powertrain will be retrofitted to existing fleet, including diesel buses and trolley buses, enabling NZ Bus to maximise the life expectancy of these assets (which are carbon-intensive to manufacture) rather than prematurely scrapping any of them. The technology will also be fitted to any new fleet purchased as part of NZ Bus’ ongoing fleet replacement programme.
Investment in this technology will enable NZ Bus to lead a transition to electric-powered vehicles for public transport in New Zealand while it continues to consider other options for future-proofing its business, which will deliver meaningful environmental and social benefits.

Renewables Impact
Air New Zealand
In September 2015, Air New Zealand launched a sustainability framework that outlined the airline’s commitment to supercharge New Zealand’s success socially, economically and environmentally.
One of the company’s commitments is to transition more than 75 light vehicles in its ground fleet to electric (where operationally feasible). The airline is part-way through the transition and once complete, expects to save around 65,000 litres in fuel each year.
To support the transition, charging points are being installed at key corporate, operational and customer sites. In addition, Air New Zealand has committed to transition its Ground Service Equipment fleet (600 vehicles that operate on airports) to electric by 2020 (where feasible).
More recently, Air New Zealand and Mercury, with the support of Westpac, launched an initiative to encourage the uptake of EVs in corporate fleets in New Zealand. To date, more than 30 organisations have pledged to transition at least 30% of their corporate fleets to electric in the next three years. This total private sector commitment of more than 1,450 vehicles will increase the number of EVs on New Zealand roads by more than 75 percent initiative.Along with the significantly lower running costs of electricity, this could remove almost 3 million kilograms of carbon emissions annually.

Yealands Family Wines Restorative Innovation
Ekos is a rainforest carbon boutique – a social enterprise supplying carbon management services to New Zealand businesses.
It operates the only community-based rainforest carbon conservation projects in New Zealand and the Pacific islands that are certified to international carbon standards. It is supply focused (dedicated to rainforest protection projects), but supports this through a commercial model for conservation financing.
On the demand side, Ekos provides carbon footprint measurement, reduction and offsetting services to New Zealand businesses. This includes a flexible range of carbon certifications tailored to suit the needs of different businesses.
The model minimises customer spending on participation overheads and transaction costs. The result is a high quality, low risk investment in nature that is widely accessible across the business sector.
To keep supply chain costs to a minimum, Ekos has developed four internationally -certified ‘payments for environmental services’ project methodologies.
Ekos’ four community-based rainforest projects are protecting 5,000 hectares of rainforest and forecast to produce 66,000t CO2e carbon offsets annually. The commercial pilot phase of the business cycle has developed a domestic retail platform currently monetising 3,000 carbon offsets annually.

Restorative Impact
Ceres Organics
Over 30 years ago, Ceres Organics began as an organic vegetable co-op and has grown to offer the most comprehensive range of organic products in Australasia. The company supplies directly to customers as well as through wholesale distribution to other companies, including major supermarket chains, health food stores, cafés and restaurants.
By offering over 360 different certified organic products, Ceres Organic provides an eco-friendly alternative to most shelf stable grocery items and fresh produce
All food, purchased from growers in New Zealand and around the world, is re-certified organic by Biogro, New Zealand’s leading organic certifier. This ensures all crops have been grown organically - free from chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful toxins.
By supporting organic growers and demanding their products over conventionally grown food, Ceres Organics is helping to reduce the environmental impact on air, land and water. The company has grown to the point where it has an influence in supermarkets and is a leader in New Zealand in making organics more mainstream through distribution.

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