NZTE signs up to slash emissions by 2030

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has committed to slashing its carbon footprint by nearly 50 percent per employee in the next 10 years, after achieving Toitū carbonreduce® certification this month.

NZTE
NZTE
16 Jun 20202 min

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has committed to slashing its carbon footprint by nearly 50 percent per employee in the next 10 years, after achieving Toitū carbonreduce® certification this month.

Through certification, NZTE has pledged to cut its carbon emissions per employee (full-time equivalent) by 46.2% by 2030, from a 2018/19 baseline year.

This equates to reducing annual emissions from 8.5 to 4.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per employee.

The target is aligned to New Zealand's Paris Climate Accord commitment to remain well below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming from pre-industrial levels.

The Toitū carbonreduce® certification programme, previously known as CEMARS, verifies efforts to manage, monitor and improve greenhouse gas emissions. It aligns to the ISO 14064-1 international standard for organisational greenhouse gas accounting and verification.

NZTE joins a number of other New Zealand government agencies certified under the programme, including the Ministry for the Environment, EECA and the Environmental Protection Agency. NZTE's carbon measurements and its new emissions target both cover its full international network of offices.

"We know that this is the right thing to do and it reflects the fact that sustainability is part of good business for Aotearoa New Zealand, here at home and around the world," said Peter Chrisp, NZTE Chief Executive.

"We're proud to have learned from New Zealand businesses and other agencies and organisations who have gone before us and guided our own journey of carbon emissions measurement and reduction."

With 600 staff across 50 international locations in 2018/19, long-haul air travel made up the majority of NZTE's carbon emissions as measured in its baseline year. Before signing up to the programme in September 2019, NZTE had already launched initiatives to reduce air travel where possible and encourage alternative and lower-carbon transport options.

NZTE has also adopted cloud-based remote working systems across its global network, allowing it to deliver enhanced support to businesses and international contacts, while reducing unnecessary travel and associated carbon emissions.

These systems passed a significant test in recent months with the agency continuing to support its customers during COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand and other international locations.

"We want to build on what we've learnt during COVID-19 and work towards a better normal in terms of sustainability, which includes how we work with each other and with our customers," said Peter Chrisp.

"We want to highlight our support and encouragement for other businesses to reduce and mitigate their emissions. He waka eke noa – we are all in this together."

Toitū carbonreduce® certification marks a milestone in NZTE's journey to embed the Māori guiding value of kaitiakitanga (caring for people and place on behalf of future generations) across its operations and activities, including its advice to businesses.

Alongside care for the environment, NZTE's kaitiakitanga framework includes commitments around diversity and inclusion – including closing gender pay gaps and increasing female and Māori representation in leadership roles – and a zero-harm health, safety and wellbeing framework.