From native tree planting to eBikes and everything in between, we see reducing carbon emissions, and therefore doing our best to prevent air pollution, as one of our key goals as an organisation that’s truly Here For Good.
This year, World Environment Day’s official theme is #BeatAirPollution. In celebration of that, we’re sharing the work our team members are doing around the country to help positively impact the environment, and more specifically, how we’re doing our part to beat air pollution.
We’re proud to announce that our commitment to transition 30% of our light vehicles fleet to Electric Vehicles (EV) by end of calendar year 2019 is on track. This means 70 vehicles, which account for 360 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, will be replaced. Read more about our EV plan.
We try to make it as easy as possible for our customers who use EVs to recharge by offering charging ports at select store locations. Since unveiling the charging stations in, we have provided around 5,242 charging sessions and 167,441 kilometres of EV travel to our staff and customers, delivering a saving of an estimated 35 tCO2-e.
Over in our distribution centres (NIDC and SIDC) we are working towards full electrification of our forklift fleet. This means no more LPG fuels being used in our centres – which will benefit indoor air quality, favourably impact health of our team members and help to further reduce our carbon emissions.
On March 29th, The Warehouse Group's Store Support Office introduced six Trek e-bikes for team members to use free of charge.
Another step in the direction of a more environmentally friendly business, the bikes were introduced to encourage office-based team members to think about how their day-to-day decisions affect the planet and provide them with the opportunity to test-drive an eco-friendly alternative.
During the first month, the free e-bikes proved popular and were used 79 times for 51.45 hours, with bookings stretching over the upcoming months. The total distance covered so far is 1029Kms, which totals a saving of 28.56kg of CO2 (based on OECD's average data of 162g CO2 emission per km) when compared to the average car.
Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with some team members replacing their cars with an e-bike 2-3 times a week to help offset their environmental impact, as well as enjoying the added health benefits and avoiding starting their mornings with endless traffic.
Carbon emissions reduction
Reducing carbon emissions is part of our three-pronged approach to carbon neutrality we announced earlier this year. We’re tackling this head on through several different initiatives, from native tree planting, to investing in Gold Standard carbon credits and more.
We encourage our teams to get out in their communities to help restore native vegetation and remove CO2 from the air while they’re at it. Our tech team planted 450 trees at a recent event this year, and across the group we have two team and family tree planting days planned for Auckland and Christchurch.
Additionally, we’re a proud partner of the Trees That Count programme, which aims to promote the restoration of native forests across Aotearoa. Read more about the initiative here.
We also invest in Gold Standard carbon credits, which help us offset our emissions via projects in our areas of production around the world. One of the Gold Standard carbon credit projects we’re a part of is an improved cookstove programme run by the Bangladesh Bondhu Foundation, which distributes ‘Bondhu Chula’, or improved cookstoves, to Bangladeshi households.
An estimated 30 million households in Bangladesh use traditional stoves that burn biomass (wood, animal dung or crop waste) to cook food. These fuels have low energy efficiency and cause air pollution in the kitchen and home. Around 45,000 deaths a year among women and children are attributed to diseases caused by kitchen air pollution.
Distributing these stoves increases energy efficiency, improves health outcomes and reduces fuel consumption per household by around 50%, saving around one tonne of biomass annually per household.
The majority of landfill sites that we send our general waste to around the country are capturing landfill gas to prevent it from going into the atmosphere. Some of these captures are then used to generate electricity and go back into the grid for consumer use, while others are used for agriculture purposes.
This landfill gas capture process not only prevents much of the polluting gas from escaping but minimises odour for people living near landfill sites as well.Some of our landfills also capture leachate or liquid waste, preventing waterway pollution.
We all have a role to play when it comes to improving the air we breathe and finding ways to #BeatAirPollution. Learn more about our carbon neutral commitment here.