As we are all being called upon to take the sustainability challenge seriously, we thought we would like to celebrate some of our business members, large and small, who have been on this journey for a while. We hope that this will inspire more businesses to participate, as even in small ways, we can all take practical steps toward a low carbon future.
If you have a story, you would like us to share about your sustainable practices, please contact us and let us know.
Over the past 12 months, there has been increasing global response to climate change and biodiversity loss and how this impacts on our communities, businesses and lifestyles. The evidence is clear that immediate and wide-ranging changes to the way we live and work are needed if we are to reduce our carbon emissions by 50% over the next ten years (UN- IPCC minimum level) and limit climate warming to a maximum of two degrees. The built environment contributes 20% of New Zealand’s carbon emissions, so this is a critical area where we can make a meaningful difference. Multi-disciplinary architecture and design practice Jasmax has been an active part of the conversation and solutions around sustainability and green building since 2008, delivering NZ’s first certified Living Building Challenge Te Kura Whare HQ near Whakatane BoP, as well as high performance low embodied carbon buildings such as AUT University’s Mana Hauora, Waste Management HQ, and the A1 Health and Sciences Hub a re-use and timber structure low carbon solution currently under construction at AUT University.
In 2020, Jasmax modelled and launched targets to reduce and make possible net zero carbon buildings by 2030. The targets hit three key areas of building performance with the greatest impact in achieving carbon neutrality:
Jasmax has set the target of a 50% reduction in embodied carbon and a 70% reduction in operational energy usage by 2030. Although ambitious, Jasmax knows these targets are achievable, with several projects well on the way to achieving them, for example AUT University’s Mana Hauora building, completed in 2017, already exceeds the 2025 operational energy target.
The design practice is also playing an active role in decarbonising our cities through their involvement in significant urban design and public transport projects such as City Rail Link and Christchurch’s An Accessible City. We are evolving our architecture and integrated process to build stronger relationships with clients and consultants to agree clear goals, and demonstrate how easy it is to achieve efficient, low carbon beautiful buildings and precincts together.
Jasmax has also reviewed our business operations to reduce our business carbon footprint, implementing strategies to reduce waste, promote active travel modes and reduce reliance on air travel. The practice adheres to an ISO14001- certified environmental system. We share our learning journey and feedback loops through talks, the publicly available annual GRI Reports and our website.
There is no right or wrong answers to these generational challenges, but Jasmax knows we need to act fast, take our clients and communities on the journey and learn quickly what works. We won’t solve this with buying carbon credits
‘The problems of the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way people think’ Gregory Bateson.
Jasmax is starting to see their clients and their projects as integral parts of the bigger system of community and nature. This opens the possibility of using projects as leverage points, to systemically enable greater health for our urban areas and of the people that use them.
For a moment, imagine a Council Climate Strategy driven by community needs. By considering a leverage point – for example an Urban Farm network every few kms in the city. The potential community impacts and reduced emissions are significant. As well as providing healthy veg and fruit boxes without plastic packaging and trucking – ‘direct from the garden’, people could bring their organic waste for composting. Locals and employees could head over at lunch time and do some gardening for their mental health and relaxation. These ideas are something to explore with the community to first understand their needs and how they can offer long term value and support a new way of living in the city. Thinking like this positively impacts people’s relationships with their places and helps build low carbon resilient communities.
Jasmax’ s approach to sustainability is grounded in science, develops our and our clients thinking to recognise we all have a unique role to play in together creating our resilient, healthy sustainable future ‘right here’.
Our aim is ‘Jasmax work with our clients and communities to produce projects that are mutually beneficial to society and the environment.’
Samson Corporation are known for their sustainable buildings, they built Ironbank and Geyser which were New Zealand’s first 5 Star and 6 Star Green rated commercial buildings.
In 2017 they adopted a sustainability strategy that would include these green assets, but more importantly, the rest of the Auckland portfolio which includes many historic properties. Samson are now a certified Toitu carboNZero landlord, they have committed to measuring their carbon foot print each year, minimising their footprint, and then offsetting any remaining emissions by investing in NZ carbon sinks.
A property portfolio’s carbon footprint is made up of building electricity, gas, refrigerants, tenant waste to landfill, sometimes diesel and emissions from construction projects. To reduce their carbon footprint Samson have invested in doing the following:
Samson are already experiencing positive results, their 2019 carbon footprint was an impressive 30% lower than 2018’s and they anticipate a similar reduction for 2020. It’s not just Samson management that have made a difference, the Samson tenants have got on board the journey and there has been a 40% reduction of tenant waste going to landfill across the multi-tenant portfolio. There’s lots more to achieve this year but they’re most excited about being able to share their NABERS NZ energy efficiency ratings mid this year.
At ASC we are actively working toward being one of the first zero waste salons in Auckland. We have always recycled but were at a loss as to what to do with both our left over hair and chemical waste.
Early last year we engaged the services of a company called Sustainable Salons, https://sustainablesalons.org who are responsible for handling all of our recycling, hair and chemical waste. We dispose of all organic waste and inorganic waste with our Hungry Bin https://www.hungrybin.co.nz and Bokashi Bin System.
Late last year we began working with STARS Sustainable Business Programme. Our purpose for this is to start working toward be part of the B Corporation. https://bcorporation.net .
Watch this space.
Toitū Envirocare is catalysing action for a zero carbon future. We are a team of scientists and business experts who have come together to protect the ecological and economic future of this place. In a large way this is delivered through our Toitū carbonreduce, Toitū carbonzero and Toitū enviromark certifications, which give organisations the tools to reduce their carbon emissions and environmental impact in line with international best practice and aligned with ISO standards. We help businesses be more sustainable by giving them the science-based tools, actions and evidence they need to make real progress.
Initially developed for New Zealand business needs, 20 years later our programmes now serve more than 400 clients worldwide. Wholly owned by Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, a Crown Research Institute, our origins are in science, but our future is in the sustainability of our economy, our people, and our land.
Ecostore exists to make the world a safer place, one person, one home, one business at a time. Since 1993, we’ve been creating hardworking, highly effective products, removing harmful or unnecessary chemicals, to put people’s health first and give them the choice to live clean.
We develop, manufacture and package our biodegradable plant and mineral based cleaning and personal care products at our factory in Auckland – the only manufacturer in Australasia with ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management, Toitū Enviromark Diamond and Toitū CarboNZero certifications.
Because packaging plays such a huge part in what we do, it’s a key area where we can make a difference. Our three prong packaging strategy aims to:
To us, sustainability means acknowledging that everything is interconnected. And running a sustainable business means not just focusing on financial performance, but also social wealth creation and environmental responsibility.
We’re incredibly proud to be a Certified B Corporation® – the highest global standard for social corporate responsibility – and our formal commitment to use our business to help solve the world’s social and environmental problems.
But thinking globally also means acting locally. Here are some of the steps we’re taking in our Parnell office:
We believe Kiwi businesses can and should step up to be a force for good. Will you join us?