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34 news results

01/07/2014

Biofuels

Z doesn’t produce oil or gas, so we don’t have to limit the products we sell to protect billions of dollars of upstream investment. We are here to provide transport fuels to Kiwi consumers and businesses and we are ambivalent about whether that fuel is oil, gas, or a bio product.

We are currently exploring two main sources of biofuel. The first is a project that will enable Z to produce biodiesel from tallow (inedible fat from meat products), and the second is a longer-term project to turn wood waste into biofuels.

The Wiri biodiesel project is New Zealand’s first large-scale biodiesel production facility which will produce 20 million litres of high quality biodiesel per annum. The plant, which converts animal fats and used cooking oil into biodiesel, is currently under construction at Wiri, Auckland and is due for completion around the middle of 2015.

We have also worked with Norske Skog to investigate using second generation biofuels technology to process wood waste from the forestry sector into biofuels. This wood waste is the stuff left over after the trees have been removed from the forest and processed in the mill. While technically and economically challenging, it is possible to convert this waste into a form of ‘green crude’ that can be refined into petrol, diesel, and potentially even jet fuel.   

Z continues to undertake work to test if this can be done in a way that is financially viable and that produces fuel that meets the very highest quality specifications.

Recycling and food waste

We have a goal to reduce 70% of Z’s retail operation landfill-bound waste by 2015. We’ve embarked on a network-wide recycling programme to waste less within our business.

We have worked with our Retailers, site staff and waste service providers to work out what we’re wasting and where, and come up with waste reduction plans for every site. We have recycling bins (for paper/cardboard, co-mingled, and food waste) on-site and have rolled out forecourt recycling bins across 103 sites so far (with more planned!). So far this year, we’ve diverted 226 tonnes of food waste from landfill into composting.  We have a network of ‘Waste Warriors’ at our service stations,  leading their teams into action on recycling, and competing against each other for the prize of top Z Waste Warrior – the winning site, Z Belfast, last year recycled an average of 85% of all waste on site.

Based on early data, we’re about halfway to our goal of reducing our waste to landfill by 70%.

We’re continuing to roll out more forecourt recycling bins across the network and to work with site staff to increase the amount of waste going to recycling. We’re always looking at ways of reducing the amount of material we bring onto our sites in the first place; such as recently reviewing the number of magazine deliveries to ensure we reduce before we recycle.

We’re also giving away coffee grounds to gardeners to put on their roses, and unsold food to pig farmers in those more rural areas without a food waste pick-up service.

LED lighting on retail sites

Forecourt power and lighting accounts for more than a quarter of Z’s total retail electricity use. As a sustainable company, we reckon it’s important to reduce energy use.

We’ve completed a nationwide project to change out all of the external lighting in our service station canopies with energy-efficient LED lighting. We invested $3.1 million in a six-month LED canopy lighting replacement project, supported by a $580,000 business grant from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

Energy efficiency

We’re constantly looking at ways we can reduce both the cost and the carbon emissions of running our retail operations.

We’ve been working with our suppliers to identify how we can run our retail sites more efficiently. Some examples include making sure our refrigeration units and HVAC units aren’t working against each other; installing automatic sensors on doors; and installing pull-down screens on open fridge units. We’ve worked with our suppliers to identify new generation chillers that we’ll install at our new-build sites, which can save at least 40% on our current refrigeration energy usage.