Failure not an option with Emissions Reduction Plan

22 June 2022

The release of New Zealand’s first Emissions Reduction Plan sets new urgency around our country’s transition to a carbon-zero future and means slashing 11.5 million tonnes of carbon equivalent off our emissions by 2025.

The plan reveals how the Government will meet New Zealand’s first emissions budget of 72.4 million tonnes a year and underlines the fact that there is no more time for business as usual when it comes to decarbonisation.  And if greenhouse emissions and tonnes of carbon don’t mean a lot to you, picture this; 1 tonne of CO2 would fill 1 large hot air balloon (almost 3,000 cubic metres in volume), and to capture 1 tonne of CO2 emissions, approximately 50 trees must grow for one year. The challenge is real.

Strategic urgency for decarbonisation

During the last 12 months, the conversation has shifted from decarbonisation being a tactical compliance thing for businesses – to having real strategic urgency.
As Total Utilities Director, Chris Hargreaves explains, “Addressing carbon is becoming a business problem and not an optional extra.”
“Creating a low carbon economy requires considerable planning,” says Chris. “Businesses will need to be adaptable and flexible to meet the Government’s emission budgets and reduction plan and they will need to have a plan to mitigate risks associated with it.  “Carbon units will become more expensive over time, increasing the cost of goods and services with high carbon intensity.”

Protect your brand & reputation

The benefits for businesses that address carbon now are huge. Think of the cost savings of needing less energy to run your business and reducing your energy requirements now to mitigate future cost increases. Decarbonisation also means protecting your brand and reputation as more customers turn to sustainable companies.

Furthermore, it gives you a head start in bidding for contracts, with many businesses now asking for details on approaches to sustainability and emission reduction before awarding contracts. 
And front of centre of it all, of course, is the environmental imperative to reduce emissions. Science tells us we need net zero emissions to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C, and the race to get there by 2050 has started. So why aren’t businesses moving faster? Chris says that clients who come to him for advice know they need to do something but often don’t know what to do or where to start.

Total Utilities can help…

This is where Total Utilities comes in. Having worked in New Zealand’s energy market for well over 20 years, we specialise in assisting companies with the decarbonisation process and putting together carbon reduction plans. “We can help you baseline greenhouse gas emissions from across all your operations, so you know where to start,” says Chris. “We then use science-based methodologies to come up with your pathway towards net zero, ensuring a stakeholder lead approach. We can reduce your business risk by adhering to today’s environmental regulations and preparing you for any future legislation.”

Funding challenges are also often a significant roadblock to businesses taking action, explains Chris, but the benefits of future proofing your business and the cost savings over time help offset this.  “Furthermore, we can identify cost savings and revenue opportunities that will have a positive effect on your productivity, profits and performance,” he adds.


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