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13/11/2014

When finding worms in your pies is a good thing

One of Z’s meatiest sustainability goals (we love a good pun!) is to reduce the waste going to landfill from our service stations by 70% by 2015.

In getting after this goal, the first thing we did was implement recycling across the Z service station network. We now have recycling across all of our own operations, as well as public recycling bins on 103 of our forecourts.

A baseline survey in 2012 showed that up to a third of the contents in our skip bins, by weight, was food waste.

A food waste pick-up service is a fairly new and evolving service, and generally only available in more urban centres, and our neighbourhood sites with friendly local pig farmers are happy to keep donating their unsold food (apart from the bacon and egg pies!) to them. But what to do with the unsold pies and sandwiches, and coffee grounds we were throwing away every year?

Steve Rickerby chucked in his job at an insurance company in 2008, and set up We Compost; a network of businesses in Auckland keen to send their food waste to a credible composting facility. Steve started out with one bin on the back of a ute, and now collects more than 500 bins (9 tonnes) of organic waste a week, and delivers it to the EnviroFert facility in Tuakau, where it is turned into organic compost products that are sold to horticultural growers and pastoral farmers to improve the quality and condition of their crops. So far, this year alone, we estimate Z sites have diverted 342 tonnes of food waste from landfill, partly with We Compost’s help.

Z started having our food waste picked up by Steve at 21 retail sites in Auckland and Hamilton, before he decided to consolidate to the Auckland region, where business is booming.

“Partnering with Z gave us a huge boost at a time when we really needed it,” says Steve. “The Z sites increased our collection density in certain areas and helped us justify a push out west. To be able to casually drop into conversation with prospective customers that we collect from around 20 Z sites gives us a huge amount of credibility and has helped to normalise the idea of a 'third' bin. I like to think that the sort of people who go to the cafes we collect from are the sort of people who buy their fuel from Z. So, it is also an important aspect to our positioning in the market and I hope working with us does the same for the Z brand!”

Thanks in large part to a successful partnership with the likes of We Compost, and Kai to Compost in Wellington, we’re now tracking at nearly 85% of the way towards our waste reduction target; and this despite the network growing from 204 stations in 2012 to 213 stations today.

 

03/09/2014

Z's first GRI Sustainability Report

Z is embarking on our first GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) Sustainability Report this year, which will be integrated into our Annual Report.

In order to complete this report, we have created a shortlist of relevant topics that should be assessed for inclusion in the sustainability report, in accordance with the GRI guidelines.

Check out the table below where we’ve chosen 13 Aspects and 22 Indicators to report against in our first year, covering Economic, Environmental, and Social indicators. 

The first step in a robust reporting framework is to check in with key stakeholders that the Aspects we’ve chosen to report against are what you’d expect to see from Z, and whether there’s anything conspicuously absent from this list. So, please flick us an email with your thoughts to: yourviews@z.co.nz

 

 

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.