Did you know solarcity is the only solar energy company in New Zealand with carboNZero accreditation? And, that back in 2010, we were the first solar company in the world to gain that international certification? It's something we're very proud of as it's a significant endorsement of our commitment to sustainability and the environment.
As our business is based on the environment - promoting products and services that help our customers reduce greenhouse gases and enjoy renewable, independent electricity - it's important to us that we walk the talk and lead by example.
The carboNZero certification shows that not only are we aware of our carbon emissions and their impact on the global climate, but we're also taking considered and practical action to keep them at a minimum. We're always looking for new ways to reduce our company's carbon footprint and inspiring others to do the same. Any carbon emissions that we're unable to eliminate are offset by buying carbon credits, effectively making us a carbon neutral organisation.
This low carbon way of thinking covers all areas of our business from the products we use to the way we run our office. For example, we've chosen to use solar panels that are quick to repay the amount of energy it took to produce them. Over their 20-year lifetime, each solar panel will pay back its energy debt at least 10 times over. We then purchase carbon credits to offset the emissions associated with transporting them. And, whenever we can, we group our installations by location to keep those transport emissions as low as possible.
As we have offices in Nelson, Christchurch and Auckland most of our meetings are done by video conferencing. When travel is unavoidable the flights are fully offset. We have a fleet of low-emission vehicles and encourage carpooling, especially for company events. From t-shirts to inverters, we make every effort to choose products that are from ethically and environmentally preferred suppliers.
We're also largely a paperless business. All customer communications are electronic and, on the odd occasion when we need a hardcopy, we use 100% recycled and carbon neutral paper.
Our vision is to see New Zealand become powered 100% by renewable energy which will help lower the country's climate emissions. Solar is going to be vital in helping our nation reach that goal.
Knowing that Kiwis loved the idea of powering their homes using the energy of the sun, but that many were put off by the price of buying the solar panels, we introduced solarZero at the start of 2015. This smart, new energy service lets Kiwis go solar without buying a solar system. Instead, the homeowners buy clean, affordable solar energy generated on their roof by solar panels that we own and manage. They simply pay a low, fixed monthly fee for energy services providing solar power and improved energy efficiency that can save thousands of dollars on power bills over the long term.
We set out to do business with a social conscience and are innovative in using solar for social good. This means that we are involved in a range of projects that encourage the preservation of the environment. This includes large projects in Rarotonga, Nauru and Tuvalu to reduce the Pacific Islands' dependence on imported fossil fuels, used to generate power, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
We believe it's important for businesses to measure and improve their environmental impact, especially as New Zealand prides itself on being clean and green. As that's what carboNZero is all about, we recommend it to all businesses. You can find out more about our carboNZero accreditation here.