Warehouse Group goes carbon neutral

The Warehouse Group is New Zealand’s first large company and the third major retailer in the world to go carbon neutral, says the company.

 A media statement from the group says it is officially carbon neutral through carboNZeroCertTM certification.

Chief executive, Nick Grayston says:  “We can no longer ignore the urgent global challenge that is climate change. We’re ready to play our part for the ongoing health of our people, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the planet.” 

 The group is fully committed to carbon neutrality, he said.

“Our company has always supported New Zealanders and our community. Being carbon neutral is part of that. We believe that good businesses need good societies and environments to function successfully; that’s why we are taking responsibility for our impact on the environment and helping New Zealand address climate change.   

 “This is just one step in our environmental journey, but we are excited about the progress we are making.”  

Minister for Climate Change Hon. James Shaw welcomed the announcement.  “I thank The Warehouse Group for their commitment to New Zealand’s goal of becoming net carbon neutral and their involvement in the Climate Leaders Coalition.  

 “More and more businesses are realising that reducing their global warming emissions, and dealing with suppliers who do the same, doesn’t just make good climate change sense it makes good business sense too,” he said.   

 The Warehouse Group, which operates 258 The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo 7 stores, has tracked and audited its carbon emissions since 2013, currently at around 40,000 tonnes per year.    

 The group’s approach to carbon neutrality is focused on three key areas. The initial offsetting is through investment in high-quality international Gold Standard carbon credits that support environmental, social and community initiatives in countries where the group operates (China, India and Bangladesh). 

 Longer term, this will be supported by native forest regeneration of around 2.7 million trees in partnership with Kiwi landowners and charity partner Project Crimson through its ‘Trees That Count’ programme, and a focused emissions reduction programme. 

 “While the initial offsetting of our emissions is through investment in ‘Gold Standard’ international credits, our main focus is reducing emissions in our operations and native forest regeneration, which will ensure future carbon credits as trees mature, and encourage New Zealand’s native biodiversity to flourish,” said Grayston.   

 “Our target is to reduce emissions from the 2015 baseline by 32 percent by 2030 – this is in keeping within 2⁰C of warming based on pre-industrial times and is part of our commitment to the Climate Leaders Coalition.” 

 The carbon neutrality status has been achieved through the independent carboNZeroCertTM certification provided by Enviro-Mark Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and is based on International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) standards. 

The certification includes all domestic business operations and transportation of own-brand label products from global manufacturing centres to New Zealand.  

 Chief Executive of Enviro-Mark Solutions, Dr Ann Smith said that not only has the Warehouse Group measured its operational carbon footprint to rigorous international standards and strengthened its emission reduction commitments, “the group has also invested in offsets created from clean technology projects in the countries where it manufactures its products. The offset projects are Gold Standard certified, delivering genuine emissions reductions and important social and community co-benefits”.  

 David Benattar, The Warehouse Group’s chief sustainability officer, said that as one of the country’s largest companies with a broad network across New Zealand and millions of customers every week, the group is in a unique position to encourage positive change.   

 “Carbon emissions are just one of the things we are looking at as part of our efforts to propel change around how we think about the environment as a business. We are looking forward to sharing our progress with New Zealand.” 

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