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Climate Leaders Coalition brings hope

The newly formed Climate Leaders Coalition sees 60 companies committing to action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and publicly report on them.

By Carolyn Enting

In an unprecedented move, 60 companies representing nearly 50 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions have joined forces to form the Climate Leaders Coalition.

The announcement on July 12, broadcast live from Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre was attended by CEOs and leaders of the 60 companies, sustainability managers and media.

After the announcement Z Energy CEO and convenor of the group Mike Bennetts posed with members of the Climate Leaders Coalition for a group selfie which captures the commitment of the Climate Leaders Coalition to drive the transition to a low emissions economy. This industry-led initiative also cements New Zealand’s commitment to the Paris agreement, which is expected to grow in members following the announcement.

The goal of the new group – which includes the leaders of Z, Westpac, Ngai Tahu Holdings, Vector, Air New Zealand, Spark and NZ Post – is to help New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy and, in doing so, create a positive future for New Zealanders, business, and the economy.

To mark the significance of the announcement and commemorate the launch of the Climate Leaders Coalition, SkyCity Entertainment Group – a member of the coalition – lit up Auckland’s Sky Tower in the colour green.

Climate Leaders Coalition group selfie led by Z Energy CEO and convenor of the group Mike Bennetts.

The CEOs’ Climate Change Statement is the first step taken by the Climate Leaders Coalition in their drive for positive change.

CEO Climate Change Statement

For the generations after us, for the country we love, for the viability of our businesses, we are ambitious for action on climate change. If we act now we can forge a path to create a future that is low-emission, positive for our businesses and economy, and inclusive for all New Zealanders. We are committed to playing our part to make that future real. If we don’t, our competitiveness is at risk.

We take climate change seriously in our business:

  • We measure our greenhouse gas emissions and publicly report on them
  • We set a public emissions reduction target consistent with keeping within 2° of warming
  • We work with our suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

We believe the transition to a low emissions economy is an opportunity to improve New Zealand’s prosperity:

  • We support the Paris Agreement & New Zealand’s commitment to it
  • We support introduction of a climate commission and carbon budgets enshrined in law

By signing the CEO Climate Change Statement, each of the business leaders have committed to measuring and reporting their greenhouse gas emissions and working with suppliers to reduce emissions, with the aim of helping to keep global warming within two degrees, as specified in the Paris Agreement.

“I knew that many businesses were making progress with their own company’s response to climate change but that still left a gap around what we could be doing more of together to increase the pace and scale of impact from our collective efforts. So, it made sense to discuss those opportunities and commit to further action. At the very least that is a common commitment that we can all be held accountable for and provides other businesses with the confidence to lean into their own responses knowing they are not alone in doing that,” says Bennetts.

Globally, it’s unprecedented for businesses representing almost half of a country’s emissions to come together like this, says WWF NZ CEO Livia Esterhazy. WWF works with companies all over the world helping them cut their emissions.

“These businesses recognise that acting on climate change is not only good for the planet, but it is also a business opportunity not to be missed. The Climate Leaders Coalition creates enormous potential for change and sets a positive example that all New Zealanders can all be proud of,” Esterhazy says.

Founding members of the Climate Leaders Coalition are:

  • Z Energy
  • Westpac
  • Ngai Tahu Holdings
  • Air New Zealand
  • Vector
  • Spark
  • New Zealand Post
  • The Warehouse Group
  • Toyota
  • IAG
  • Fonterra
  • Ports of Auckland
  • KiwiRail
  • Christchurch Airport
  • Stuff
  • SkyCity Entertainment Group
  • Meridian Energy
  • Vodafone
  • Oji Fibre Solutions
  • Waste Management
  • Fuji Xerox
  • Dempsey Wood
  • Sanford
  • Contact Energy
  • Auckland Airport
  • BNZ
  • Flick
  • Proxima
  • 4sight Consulting
  • Wellington Zoo
  • 3R
  • EnergyTS
  • Wellington Airport
  • Transpower
  • Lion
  • Fujitsu
  • Unilever
  • DB Breweries
  • Enviro-Mark Solutions
  • OCS
  • True
  • EcoStore
  • Deloitte
  • Ravensdown
  • Ecotricity
  • Beca
  • Watercare
  • Toyota Financial Services
  • EnergyclubNZ
  • Kiwi Property
  • Countdown
  • Microsoft
  • Silver Fern Farms
  • Synlait
  • Freightways
  • Downer
  • Hawkins
  • TIL Logistics Group
  • Netlogix
  • Toll

Business owners looking to commit to action on climate change and play their part in the transition to a low emissions economy can find out more about the CEO Climate Change Statement, by visiting climateleaderscoalition.org.nz

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