5 ways to join the clean energy revolution

10 February 2015

Last week the SBN held an event around the future of carbon reduction in NZ business. We heard business leaders make a strong call for action: individual companies CAN and SHOULD be reducing carbon, especially through vehicle fleets.

If you missed the event, find out the key points raised below including six ways your business can join the clean energy revolution.

Global trend:

Businesses are offsetting:
The International Post  Corporation (IPC) runs a carbon offsetting programme which CEOs or Product Management Groups sign up to – currently 25 national post companies (40% of employees, 50% of vehicles and 20% of buildings) are involved.

Barriers to offsetting:

1)      Current lack of infrastructure for electric vehicles – although this is easy to remedy (for example through charging at home, fast charging at petrol stations, and chargers in public spaces such as the station at Sylvia Park mall in Auckland)

2)      Biofuel is not widely available (yet!). Gull NZ, who offer biofuel and biodiesel options at the pump, needs businesses like yours to get on board and stimulate demand in order for products to be more widely available

3)      Perception! The move is easy. It just requires action!

4)      Absence of organisational or CEO support

The way forward  

1)      Take the good things that your team is already doing and see how you can expand them

2)      Work out what to prioritise – what are the most material aspects to your organisation?

3)      Get inspiration from OUTSIDE the sector – you can utilise SBN as we are working with innovative, forward-thinking companies around four transformation areas including several projects on smart transport.

4)      Increase dialogue with stakeholders, explain your plans, garner support, set targets for carbon reduction and build on that to get more support.  For example, have messages from your CEO explaining the journey you are on.

5)      Increase your influence – look at your client or customer base and their interests. How can you help them to achieve carbon reduction goals?

Five ways your business can join the clean energy revolution

1)      Take the lead and save
Without strong Government-led carbon reduction strategies our members are taking the lead – saving money, saving on inefficiencies and saving on carbon emissions (leading companies include NZ Post, Mighty River Power and Gull)

2)      Talk to SBN
We’re working at the forefront of smart transport through our ‘Renewables’ transformation stream. We’ve already unlocked exciting projects around electric vehicles, biofuels and sustainable transport.

3)      Get on board with electric vehicles
Mighty River Power has swapped 70% of its fleet to electric vehicles including the Mitsubishi Highlander and Nissan Leaf. Electric vehicles will be increasing in volume with 1000 expected in Auckland by the end of 2015. Mighty River Power has more renewable electricity generation consents to secure energy supply once the demand increases.

4)      Use biofuels (especially in your heavy vehicle fleet)
Gull New Zealand already sells two types of biofuel, E10 and E85 as well as a biodiesel.

5)      Run a fun, sustainable drivers challenge!
IPC runs an annual challenge, combining employee engagement with carbon reduction and great PR for sustainability. It has led to major behaviour change with a 12% increase in efficiencies after the training – although it needs to be repeated regularly to maintain behaviour.

Our speakers included:

Pieter Reitsma, manager of sustainability at the International Post Corporation (IPC) – which handles 80% of the global mail volume

Sam Bridgman: Sustainability specialist – environment at NZ Post – NZ Post has an international corporation guiding the work it must do to reduce carbon. The business includes NZ Post, Kiwibank and Courier services, a mix of service provider and transport company.
Aaron Smith: Commercial executive at Mighty River Power (MRP) – MRP runs 14 power generating stations in the North Island, of which 90% are from renewable sources. It is taking the lead on electric vehicles (EVs) in New Zealand

Karl Mischewski: Sustainability Manager at Gull New Zealand – Gull New Zealand has been selling biofuel and biodiesel blends since 2007. They have sold more than 24 million litres out of 60 North Island sites.

Emily Dowding-Smith: Transformation Leader – ‘Restorative’ at SBN

SBN is taking the lead on many aspects of Smart Transport including projects on electric vehicles, biofuels and biking. We are working with both MRP and Gull New Zealand.