New Zealand post achieves major savings through workplace sustainability

New Zealand post achieves major savings through workplace sustainability

At the culmination of New Zealand Post’s ambitious three-year resource efficiency programme in June 2015, the company managed to make significant reductions in energy use and waste to landfill and increase recycling rates.

The company had already reduced energy by 17% and halved waste to landfill between 2009 and 2012, by targeting the ‘low-hanging fruit’. But longer-lasting change demanded a focus on problem areas and bold targets, namely cutting building energy by 8% across its portfolio by 2015, alongside a further 10% reduction in waste to landfill and increasing the total proportion of recyclables to 79%.

Throughout the 2012-2015 project, New Zealand Post placed an emphasis on making systems and behaviours part of ‘business as usual’. This included tailoring systems and process changes to suit the operational requirements of the business, using smart meter information to manage energy use, involving staff in programmes such as waste audits rather than outsourcing to contractors, and raising awareness through management reports, staff events and other internal communications.

As a result of these measures, the company cut building and energy use by 14%, against an 8% target, saving the equivalent power use of around 700 New Zealand homes. Waste to landfill dropped by 36%, almost quadruple the 10% goal, and total recycling rate hit 77% – ensuring the group is now recycling over three times the volume of material it sends to landfill.

Greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by over 1,000 tonnes CO2e over the three years and generated cost savings of around NZ$900,000 (approximately US$600,000).