As part of the carbonZero programme we’re helping to regenerate the Hinewai Native Forest Reserve on the Banks Peninsula. Photo: Tricia Hewlett
The Arctic has just had its warmest winter, while New Zealand has experienced its hottest summer on record. As extreme weather events dominate the headlines, the need for climate action has become even more urgent. At solarcity we’re working hard to shift our nation to a clean energy future. As well as switching Kiwi families to clean solar power, that means cutting the size of our company’s carbon footprint. Not only are we aware of our carbon emissions and their impact on the global climate, but we’re working hard to keep them at a minimum.
Back in 2010, we were the first solar energy company in the world to be carboNZero certified. That ethos continues today. It hasn’t been easy, especially during our rapid growth, but we’ve never let up. So, as you can imagine, we are stoked that our carboNZero certification has just been renewed for the 8th year running.
What is carboNZero?
The carboNZero certification shows that our business is carbon neutral - not just today but every day. To ensure this, we continually measure our greenhouse emissions and have put in place strategies and processes to reduce them wherever possible. All the steps we take are verified annually by Enviro-Mark Solutions, an independent organisation that runs the carboNZero programme. 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 installed solar panels on the roof of our Auckland office to power some of our operations.
- Staff are encouraged to use Skype and other telecommuting options rather than travelling between our two other offices in Nelson and Christchurch.
- We are largely a paperless organisation. We correspond electronically wherever possible and use 100% recycled and carbon neutral paper, when we need to print.
- We have a fleet of low-emission and efficient vehicles and encourage carpooling, especially for company events.
- The solar panels we install on your roof 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.
Of course, there are some carbon emissions we can’t eliminate, like transport, so we offset them by buying carbon credits. Over the past couple of years we’ve purchased carbon credits at the Hinewai Native Forest Reserve on the Banks Peninsula. That way we’re helping to regenerate native forestry which reduces net greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. At the same time, it’s also helping biodiversity, erosion control, and water quality. Watch this video to find out more.
While we’re proud to be the only solar business in New Zealand with carboNZero certification, we’d rather be one of many, so we're encouraging all businesses to join the programme. Together we can make a difference.
To find out more about our carboNZero certification click here.