​New Zealand business behemoths back dramatic shift in energy use

27 November 2017

Powerful coalition calls on new Government to do more to back national energy efficiency scheme

A powerful coalition of over 20 New Zealand business leaders, whose organisations are worth billions of dollars, will today (27 November) make a landmark commitment to tackle energy efficiency - and will call for the new Government to do more to encourage all businesses to do the same.

The two-pronged intervention by the business behemoths, which includes the chief executives of Auckland Airport, Westpac, Fuji Xerox, Wellington City Council, Auckland Council, Hawkins, Bayleys Real Estate, Kiwi Property, Opus International Consultants, Philips, Stride Property Group, Warren and Mahoney, Watercare, and others, sees them not only put pressure on the new Government to encourage all businesses to be more energy efficient, it will also see them make a “game-changing commitment” to become more energy efficient themselves.

The joint statement released today says:

“Our organisations together are worth billions of dollars, and employ tens of thousands of New Zealanders. We make a significant contribution to the national economy. And we also consume a significant amount of energy through the hundreds of buildings we own and occupy.

“Today, we are pleased to announce that we will be making a commitment to greatly improve the efficiency of our buildings, and slash the amount of energy we use. We are doing this for a number of reasons: to improve our environment; to cut running costs; to look after the health of our buildings and our employees; and, mostly, because it’s just simple common sense.

“It’s time for our economy to shift in the direction we are taking, to take a cleaner, smarter, healthier and more efficient direction. It’s time for all of New Zealand’s buildings to make the shift that we are making. We are now calling on the Government to back our commitment, and, further, to do all it can to benchmark their energy use and encourage all New Zealand businesses and other organisations to become more energy efficient.

“We are pleased to be using the energy efficiency rating tools, NABERSNZ and / or Green Star Performance, both run by the New Zealand Green Building Council, to verify our commitments.”

The announcement is significant not solely because of the economic power wielded by the group, but also because, jointly, they own hundreds of offices and other buildings across New Zealand - all of which now look set to cut their energy use.

Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council, who coordinated the coalition, said: “Energy efficient buildings are the future. And it’s great that dozens of New Zealand’s business leaders recognise this.

“Until today, New Zealand was a laggard when it comes to energy efficient buildings. We’re decades behind most of the OECD. And that’s why today’s move is a game-changing commitment.

“Making our buildings more energy efficient is a relatively cheap, brilliantly effective, and fast way to tackle climate change. And it also has the huge bonus of slashing energy bills.

“It’s high time now for the Government to follow the lead of our top businesses, and back this clever, cleaner shift to a brighter, healthier, more productive New Zealand.

“And the very first step the Government could take is to benchmark the energy efficiency of all the buildings they own or tenant. Doing so would save over $50million of taxpayers’ money every year in energy bills and provide millions of dollars worth of productivity gains.”

Commercial buildings use just over 20 percent of New Zealand’s electricity, costing businesses NZ$800million every year. Today’s move will provide the organisations involved with significant savings on their electricity bills, and will also reduce New Zealand’s carbon emissions.

As part of their commitment to energy efficiency, each of the chief executives are signing their organisations up to at least one of two independent, nationally recognised energy efficiency measurement tools, run by the New Zealand Green Building Council, in 2017 or 2018. The rating tools are called NABERSNZ and Green Star Performance, and they measure the energy performance of commercial buildings.

The collective commitment from tenants and owners spans a diverse spectrum of industries including banking, law, transport, infrastructure, engineering, energy, architecture, property, waste and facilities management, and finance.

The organisations, including a number of significant tenants, that have signed up to the statement are:

  • Westpac
  • Auckland Airport
  • Bayleys Real Estate
  • Kiwi Property
  • Anderson Lloyd
  • NDY
  • CBRE
  • Britomart Group
  • Auckland Council
  • Opus International Consultants
  • Philips
  • Stride Property Group
  • Warren and Mahoney
  • GHD
  • Honeywell
  • Schneider Electric
  • Watercare
  • Fuji Xerox
  • Jasmax
  • Hawkins
  • RDT Pacific
  • Wellington City Council
  • Architectus