Sustainability in Businesses: 8 Tips for Achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions

22 February, 2024

In the wake of New Zealand's commitment to achieving carbon zero emissions by 2050 and recognising the critical need to address climate change, sustainability in businesses play a pivotal role as they contribute to 40% of the country's emissions. At Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni Professional, aligning with our core value of sustainability, we are dedicated to making a positive impact and reducing our carbon footprint.

To formalise our commitment, we partnered with Ekos, a company specialising in regenerative solutions, to conduct a comprehensive carbon emissions audit for us.

Our total carbon footprint amounted to 29 tCO2e which we have offset by the purchase of certified carbon credits from a native forest project at the Uruwhenua Native Regeneration Project in Golden Bay (read more about the project here).

With a renewed focus on practical sustainability, we've implemented several changes to drive real and measurable results.

Practical Changes Implemented

Here are 8 changes we made that can support sustainability in business in NZ.

1. Electric Vehicle Adoption:

We traded our petrol car and our team is using Mevo cars or buses, promoting eco-friendly transportation.

2. Sustainable Commuting:

Embracing public transport, walking, and cycling for our daily commutes instead of relying on private vehicles.

3. In-Work Travel Transformation:

Shifting from taxis to bus transport for team travels between our office & training rooms and the Kelburn campus.

4. Food Waste Reduction:

Introducing food waste receptacles in training rooms to minimise and recycle leftover catering.

5. Waste Management Revamp:

Removing desk waste bins to encourage proper waste separation and recycling, with a focus on reducing overall rubbish.

6. LED Lighting Implementation:

Ongoing replacement of conventional lights with energy-efficient LEDs.

7. Greenery Integration:

Encouraging staff to bring plants to their desks to enhance air quality and workplace well-being.

8. Paperless Initiatives:

Implementing "Paperless Fridays" to reduce printing and promoting digital-focused practices.

Additional Measures

In collaboration with our parent University's "Growing Our Future" project, we actively contribute to sustainability through native forest restoration around the Wellington region. Our involvement includes volunteer planting days where staff, students, and alumni plant thousands of trees, making a tangible impact.

Another noteworthy initiative, "The Living Pā" by Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, represents a groundbreaking sustainable building. This venue, designed to generate its water and electricity while recycling its water supply, aligns with our commitment to sustainability. We anticipate utilising this space to host international delegations as we continue to advance our eco-friendly operations.

Our journey towards carbon zero is ongoing, and we remain committed to identifying additional ways to reduce our carbon emissions and contribute to a sustainable future. Join us in fostering a workplace that not only meets the needs of the present but safeguards the well-being of future generations.

Training

We're excited to share that we're working on developing a sustainability Essentials short course to support sustainability in business in New Zealand. We'll share developments soon...