solarcity was established with a purpose - to deploy solar across as many suitable Kiwi roofs as possible and help speed our nation’s shift to 100% renewable energy in the race to stop climate change.
As a company that was founded on environmental objectives we were really stoked this week to hear that we’ve just been awarded our carboNZero certification for the 7th year running. We are the only solar business in New Zealand with that internationally recognised green accreditation which ensures that our business and all the systems we install are carbon neutral.
Last year we more than doubled the size of our business and were installing one out of every three solar systems in New Zealand. During that hyper-growth our carbon emissions barely increased. Relatively speaking, our carbon footprint shrank in 2016.
So, how did we do it?
The carboNZero certification shows that, not only are we aware of our carbon emissions and their impact on the global climate, but we’re taking considered and practical action to keep them at a minimum.
Our low carbon thinking extends to all areas of our business from the products we use to the way we run our offices. 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 and efficient 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.
We’re always looking for new ways to reduce our company’s carbon footprint and inspiring others to do the same. All carbon emissions that we are unable to eliminate are offset by the purchase of carbon credits from accredited sources, effectively making solarcity a carbon neutral organisation.
We have the energy to make a positive difference in New Zealand and we believe it’s important for every business to help our communities fight climate change. You can find out more about our carboNZero accreditation here.