Helping you embark on a low-emissions voyage

15 May 2019
Kate Alcock, Manager for Climate and Resources, Sustainable Business Council

So you want to make a difference on climate change, but don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you’re one of the growing number of businesses looking at how they can become carbon neutral.

We know that a common thread for businesses in New Zealand is “so many ideas, not enough time!”

This is what we had in mind when we designed Embark, a one-day event dedicated to connecting businesses with low emissions solutions, products, providers and services.

We know most businesses don’t have a dedicated sustainability manager and figuring out what action to take can just seem too hard at the end of a long week.

We know that for any solution to be effective, it has to be easy to understand and fit with what your business needs. So we designed Embark, along with the Ministry for the Environment, EECA and WWF New Zealand to be a one-stop shop for businesses.

The Auckland event will take place on 24 July at SKYCITY. We’re expecting up to 650 people together in one place, all prepared to take action on climate change.

Embark will also be used to mark the first anniversary of the Climate Leaders Coalition, currently made up of 85 organisations who are all committed to measuring and reporting their emissions, setting a public emissions reduction target and working with their suppliers to reduce their emissions.  Organisations of all shapes and sizes can join.

The morning will see speakers from the Coalition, including The Warehouse, Fonterra and SKYCITY, talk about what they have done to reduce their emissions and the lessons they have learned. It will also empower business to draw up a transition plan, measure your footprint, set a target and then finance it.

The afternoon’s facilitated sessions will give you the opportunity to meet some of the solution providers who can help you reduce emissions and save money, sometimes at low or no cost to your business.

By the end of the day, you should be connected with at least one provider who can help your business on its sustainability journey.

Businesses needing solutions, and service providers, can register for Embark at This will be a carbon neutral event and will offer options for attendees to offset or minimise their travel emissions.

Varied motivations

Businesses have many different reasons for taking climate action. Maybe your kids are coming home from school asking to walk, not drive, to the local shops. Your customers may be asking what you are doing to reduce your carbon footprint. Maybe you want to cut your energy costs and the amount of waste you throw out. Or perhaps you want to be part of the growing movement helping New Zealand transition to a low-emissions economy.

Government procurement rules are also changing to put more emphasis on reducing environmental and social impacts.

Whatever your reason, it’s clear there’s a growing demand for climate action. The recent Colmar Brunton Better Futures report found climate change was a concern for more than half of New Zealanders, while research commissioned by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) shows that 88% of people want businesses to do more on climate change.

Join the leading businesses and organisations helping New Zealand get to net zero emissions by 2050.

Kate Alcock manages the Climate and Resources work at the Sustainable Business Council.

Article originally published in BusinessPlus magazine.