Marking a first for the waste industry in New Zealand, Waste  Management NZ has achieved independent certification for managing and  reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Waste Management Managing Director,  Tom Nickels, said today.

The company has worked over two years to complete CEMARS®  (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) certification,  measuring all greenhouse gas emissions and joining 53 companies from  other sectors in New Zealand who have taken this step.

Noting today’s first reading of the Zero Carbon Bill [Climate Change  Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill], which has broad  across-Parliament support, Mr Nickels said the move reflected a widely  agreed need for all sectors to play their part in achieving climate  change goals.

“This certification provides an independent benchmark and is in line  with the steps being taken by the Government, business and the community  in reducing our carbon footprint,” he said.

While the waste industry emits less than other sectors, Mr Nickels  said it can make an important contribution given the nation-wide scale  of collecting and managing waste.

“For some time there has been a strong commitment across New Zealand  Government and business to meet the challenges of reducing emissions and  we’re pleased to be part of this change.”

Waste Management has been focused on reducing emissions for many  years. Over the last three years Waste Management was the first to  introduce electric trucks into its fleet and is now converting its  diesel trucks to electric in a purpose built facility here in New  Zealand. In addition, by converting landfill gas to electricity, its  Redvale Landfill & Energy Park is Auckland’s largest renewable  energy generator.

The majority of Waste Management’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions come from  the waste collected from communities as it is disposed at landfills and  diesel use. With its landfills already capturing and converting 95% of  landfill gas to electricity, plans for further reductions will focus  first on reducing diesel emissions.

The CEMARS® programme is New Zealand’s  leading internationally accredited greenhouse gas certification scheme.  It provides tools for organisations, products, services and events to  measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and optionally offset  it.

As an early member of the Climate Leaders Coalition, Waste Management  has committed to reducing its GHG emissions in line with the Paris  Agreement for a future low carbon economy.

Waste Management currently has 9 EV trucks. It is working to have 20  of its national truck fleet converted to electric and around 100  electric vehicles in its light fleet by the end of 2019.

Waste Management’s total gross emissions for 2017 was 183,615.55  tCO2e  (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent).  This will provide the reference  point for planning for further reductions, Adam Weller, the company’s  Sustainability Manager said.

“Reducing our carbon footprint will not be easy. Across the company  it will be affected by any significant growth or changes in demand. But  we are committed to the For Future Generations sustainability strategy we launched last year. By establishing this  benchmark we are registering our commitment to delivering on it.

“Along with waste reduction, recycling and composting, we are also  focusing on specific steps to reduce emissions in our operations and we  will be reporting publicly on our progress to achieve this.”