Event Wrap: 2019 Enviro-Mark Solutions Awards Breakfast
Twenty-eight of Enviro-Mark Solutions’ top performing clients were celebrated last week for their carbon reduction and environmental management efforts at the 2019 Enviro-Mark Solutions Awards. Five organisations took out the top prizes in front of over 100 sustainability leaders in the packed breakfast event.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei’s ‘Oxygen Stealer’ Te Aroha Grace kicked things off with an eloquent welcome, reminding the audience of the lessons that traditional Māori wisdom can teach us about our relationship to the land and sustainabililty, while Enviro-Mark Solutions Chief Executive, Dr Ann Smith, articulated the urgency for climate action and what businesses need to do to shift to a low carbon economy. “Climate change is not as bad as you think”, she said. “It’s worse” – and all the more reason to celebrate those businesses taking an active role in building a sustainable future.
Excellence in Climate Action (Small footprint organisation) – Soar Printing!
In the context of carbon emissions, being small is an asset. The organisations recognised in this category demonstrated top notch climate performance while achieving business growth – essentially a decoupling of business growth and carbon emissions.
The combined reductions of finalists Soar Printing Company, Hall McMaster & Associates, Low Impact, The Kauri Museum and Lowndes were 159 tCO2e (tonnes) - the same as the emissions from powering over 115 homes for a year.
Jenny Carter, accepting the award on behalf of Soar Printing, reflected that, “we’re a third generation family business. We’re 99 years old and we firmly believe that we need to leave our business and our environment in the better shape for the next generation.
Being part of the carboNZero family is part of that goal.”
Just as impressively, in the 2017 Enviro-Mark Solutions Awards Soar Print qualified for the medium emissions category, but have reduced their footprint so much over the last two years they now qualify for the small organisation category.
Excellence in Climate Action (Medium Footprint Organisation) – Kāpiti Coast District Council
Kāpiti Coast Disctrict Council took the crown in this category with a staggering 76% emissions reduction since 2009 – the yearly equivalent waste to landfill emissions from 50,000 people!
What’s more, they were yet another winning organisation that went down a category - they qualified under ‘large footprint organisation’ in our 2017 Awards.
CEMARS certification is part of KCDC’s commitment to be accountable to their community, according to the Council’s Connected Communities Manager, Tania Parata.
“Our organisation has recently committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025. This is in recognition that climate change in our most significant challenge that we are all facing together”
Other organisations recognised as finalists in the category included Brother International (NZ), Tahbilk Winery, Curious Films and Auckland War Memorial Museum, who achievedcombined carbon reduction equivalent to 2,100 return economy flights fron Auckland to London!
Excellence in Climate Action (Large Footprint Organisations) – Auckland District Health Board
This category was “the big one for the big ones”, and recognised organisations with yearly emissions of more than 5000 tonnes.
Carbon reduction in large organisations requires a complex mix of initiatives in organisational policy, senior leadership buy-in and stakeholder engagement. One of the largest District Health Boards in the country, Auckland DHB, took the top prize with emissions reductions of an impressive 28% since 2014.
“This award actually belongs to 11,000 people – that’s the number of people at Auckland District Health Board – and we have a long way to go,” said Auckland DHB’s CFO, Rosalie Percival.
“We’re a big organisation with only growth in the future but we don’t want to grow our carbon emissions. We want to look after our planet and our communities.”
Other finalists in this category were Antarctica New Zealand, Auckland International Airport and Canterbury District Health Board, who alongside Auckland DHB, achieved a combined carbon reduction equivalent to about 5,000 return economy flights from Auckland to London.
Excellence in Climate Action (Product carbon footprint) - Snowberry
The complexity of measuring and reducing emissions from a product or service requires significant effort and attention. Calculating a robust carbon footprint incorprorates the entire product lifecycle, starting from raw materials, through to production, consumption and disposal.
Snowberry New Zealand was the winner in this category for its range of carboNZero certified skincare products. They reduced their product emissions by a whopping 79% over the years.
Other finalists in this category were Tahbilk Winery, Urgent Couriers and Yealands Estate Wines. The combined reductions in product emissions in this category was an impressive 12,027 tonnes.
Excellence in Environmental Management
This category celebrated the robustness of the environmental management systems throughout participants of the Enviro-Mark programme. These organisations were judged to have well-formed and effective processes in place to closely monitor and reduce their environmental risk and impact.
Booker Spalding took out the award, with Fonterra Brands, Dexion New Zealand and Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar recognised as finalists.
Booker Spalding has been providing clothing solutions to clients in New Zealand and Australia since 1923 and have incorporated sustainability into their business as usual.
Since achieving Enviro-Mark Diamond certification in 2010, the company has regularly develop new environmental initiatives to reduce their impact. In their latest reporting cycle, they redirected 94 percent of their waste to recycling, and reduced electricity consumption and petrol use by 6 percent compared to the previous year.
Booker Spalding Chief Executive John Maurice commented that the gains get harder as you get along the environmental sustainability journey, as he emphasised the importance of small, acheivable steps.
“One of our mantras is ‘one percent improvement’”, he said. “The good thing about small steps is you usually take them. Big leaps are much harder to get people on board.
We feel in our organisation that everyone can be part of that one percent improvement. We’re down to single digit improvements every year, but we measure, we refine and we go back to Enviro-Mark to keep us honest for another year.”
The award ceremony drew to a close with a call to action from Enviro-Mark Solutions’ Chair Dr Paul Reynolds, who emphasised the power of small individual actions adding up to big successes.
“To make progress in this area takes two critical things. It needs great leadership in the organisation and firms that are on this journey. But the second and even more important thing is that all of those organisations and firms have got to have great people.
Because it is the actions of individuals in those organisations and firms that actually make the difference.”
Enviro-Mark Solutions is proud to be working with the 24 organisations recognised in this awards event and we hope to inspire more organisations to achieve this high level of success.
Links, bits & pieces
- The E-MS team showed off symbolic ties at scarves at the event that visualised rising global temperatures over the years. Find out more about the Climate Stripes initiative at showyourstripes.info. To show your own stripes, check out this merchandise store.
- Don't miss out on the inspiring success stories and advice from these recognised companies that we plan to showcase over coming weeks. Sign up to our mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn to be in the know.
- For all photos from the Awards event, have a look at this Facebook Album: