New Zealand carbon reduction in Europe

5 May 2015

Find out all about member Enviro-Mark Solutions’ work using its New Zealand-developed programmes and technology to slash carbon around the world – including in the Scottish Parliament and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Enviro-Mark Solutions first established its Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS®) in the early 2000s, when UK company Achilles group was looking for a product for its communities of suppliers wanting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Landcare Research already offered carboNZeroCertTM certification in New Zealand and saw the opportunity to build on that foundation.

CEMARS requires businesses to measure emissions and reduce them against reduction targets that are at least 2.5 per cent each year. Organisations must create a detailed reduction plan specifying the key initiatives and top management commitment that will be put in place, with five years to reach these targets. Enviro-Mark Solutions provides the tools, templates and guidance needed for organisations to measure and reduce emissions in line with international best practice. Some organisations begin in the CEMARS programme, work to reduce their footprint, and then move to offset their remaining emissions to become carboNZero certified.

In the UK, strict legislation requires companies of a certain size to disclose carbon emissions and energy use. In addition, any company listed on the UK stock exchange is required to disclose its greenhouse gas inventory. The CEMARS programme in the UK has more than 110 clients and is a robust option approved for both compliance carbon reporting and a route to compliance for energy management regulations.

Organisations that have embraced the New Zealand-developed programme include the Scottish Parliament, UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) including the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Eurostar International and several of the largest construction and utilities companies in the UK including SSE plc. SSE, the main electricity generator in Scotland, began with a carbon footprint that was half of Scotland’s national footprint. It has a goal to reduce this by 50 per cent by 2020 and is well on track to achieve that – reducing Scotland’s national footprint by 25 per cent – no mean achievement.

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body was the first public sector body in the UK to achieve CEMARS certification and has continued to complete certification annually. To date, the Scottish Parliament has reduced its carbon footprint by 32 per cent against its 2005-06 baseline, putting it well on track to meet its reduction goal of 42 per cent by 2020. With significant reductions in electricity and gas, and improvements in efficiency, the Parliament is seeing annual savings in excess of $420,000 NZ.

In New Zealand, there are around 30 companies undertaking CEMARS, including our members NZ Post and Toyota New Zealand. Some 80 organisations and products are undertaking the carboNZero scheme across New Zealand, Australia and Chile, including members Ricoh New Zealand and Yealands wine and winery. Those in the carboNZero scheme purchase and cancel carbon credits to offset their remaining carbon emissions. Offsetting funds projects such as native forest regeneration in New Zealand or windfarm projects in developing countries that are part of the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Enviro-Mark Solutions CEO, Dr Ann Smith, says CEMARS’ point of difference is how widely it is recognised; organisations in the UK are able to meet a range of compliance and voluntary requirements with one programme, as well as gaining support through the tools and resources provided to members. 

She says it’s a great achievement to have Enviro-Mark Solutions’ programme being used overseas. “It is a wonderful story for New Zealand, showing how a programme developed out of national research has been adopted in the UK and attracted an enviable client base.”