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19/02/2020 - Sustainability news

Why carbon sinks are important for urgent action on climate change

As humans gobble through the earth’s resources, we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, warming the earth and harming our environment at a rate that is unprecedented and unsustainable. This is no longer hypothetical -- it’s happening. 

An effective way of consuming excess carbon is through carbon sinks, which store carbon for indefinite periods of time. Examples are kelp farms and forests. Ocean and land sinks absorb around half of the CO2 emissions produced by human activities; as polluters look for ways to reduce the impact of their actions, carbon sinks have become more widely understood.

The government estimates that in 2017 New Zealand forests sequestered – or ‘sucked up’– 24 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, offsetting about a third of the country’s total emissions. There is opportunity for forests to work even harder. Historically, New Zealand was covered in trees; we have lost two thirds of our natural tree coverage to human settlement, when land was cleared for pasture and towns. 

Carbon offsetting through permanent forestry has multiple benefits – trees don’t just suck up carbon, they can improve soil quality, prevent erosion and promote biodiversity, creating habitats for animals. This is especially true in the case of natives. 

“Land use and land use change is a huge part of the climate change issue that people often forget about,” says Ollie Belton of Permanent Forests New Zealand, which links companies like Z Energy with landowners who have carbon credits to sell. Permanent Forests New Zealand manages about 10,000 hectares of permanent forest throughout the country. 

“It’s cool and it’s growing,” says Ollie of carbon offsetting through forestry. “People can see that there’s an opportunity to do this instead of clearing land for farming.”

Z is one of the biggest players in the voluntary carbon offsetting space. They have bought into 20 forest schemes, with about half being pure native forests and half being a mixture of native and exotic trees, including Douglas fir, eucalyptus and Pinus radiata. 

There are two ways trees can be used to offset carbon -- through plantation forestry or permanent forestry. Plantation forestry is usually a monoculture (most often the fast-growing Pinus radiata), and while the trees provide habitat for kiwi and falcons and help stabilise the soil, after 25 to 30 years they are harvested, and all that good work is undone. 

With permanent forestry, the land is locked up and protected for a minimum of 50 years and the sole income derived from it is carbon offsets. Once those units are bought, they are taken out of circulation, meaning that they cannot be used for compliance, says Ollie. 

The government’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is the main way New Zealand meets its obligations to reduce emissions. It puts a price on emissions and provides a financial incentive for businesses to reduce their impact, through cutting emissions or offsetting them. To offset them, a business must buy emission units, with each unit representing one metric tonne of carbon dioxide. 

Z Energy’s participation in Permanent Forests NZ is the largest single voluntary purchase of units from permanent forest sinks in New Zealand to date. “We are very intentionally going above and beyond our ETS obligation,” says Gerri Ward, Head of Community and Sustainability at Z.

“It is all about impact. I’m really conscious that, because of our size, the way we do business and our values that we have significant impact. Supporting permanent forests is about that impact being underpinned by integrity and validity.” 

https://z.co.nz/carbon-count

 

13/12/2019 - General News

Z makes a move on price board transparency

Z makes a move on price board transparency 

Z Energy has responded to the 5 December Commerce Commission market study report by putting up its first price board that displays all fuel grades, including Premium, at Z Beach Road in Auckland. The board also displays the everyday 6c per litre discount that can be achieved through its Pumped loyalty program. 

Z General Manager of Retail, Andy Baird says that Z is committed to rolling the price boards out across its 340 sites, including Caltex, within the next 6 months.

“We’ve advocated for full price board transparency for some time and have been trialing such signage with select customers to ensure the information displayed is clear. So, we’re very pleased that one of the outcomes of the fuel market study was that this would be mandated across the industry.

“Solving this issue is something that all retailers can and should do quickly. We placed the order for our boards the morning that the final study was published, and we’re excited to be able to get our first board up and deliver further transparency to motorists in Auckland at Z Beach Road in time for Christmas,” says Andy.

Z looks forward to working with customers, industry colleagues and the Government on progressing the Commerce Commission outcomes and its world-class ambitions for the New Zealand fuel industry.

                                                                                                  ENDS

Media enquiries: Victoria Crockford – Victoria.crockford@z.co.nz

 

05/12/2019 - General News

Z supports swift action on proposed fuel market changes

Z Energy welcomes the completion of the Commerce Commission’s market study into the retail fuel market.

Z Chief Executive, Mike Bennetts says that Z is pleased about the resolution of the market study and believes many of the recommendations made by the Commission will help to improve on the strong levels of competition that already exist in the retail market.

“We’ve supported this study from the beginning. We’re a New Zealand-owned company and we’re committed to great outcomes for New Zealanders. The conclusion of the study provides us with the certainty to continue taking decisive action on creating the fuel industry of the future on behalf of all motorists and our many Kiwi shareholders,” says Mike.

Z is taking action on increased transparency

Z fully supports the Commerce Commission’s recommendations on increased scrutiny, including price board transparency.

Mike says that Z has already put in an order for the price boards required to display all Premium fuel prices.  

“Our retail team has been given the go ahead to get price boards ordered ready for display, as of this morning. We, like the Government, are committed to acting quickly and in the interest of Kiwi motorists,” says Mike.  

Z is also pleased that Terminal Gate Pricing and an enforceable industry code –recommendations that the company supported following the draft report – are supported by the Commission and by the Government in principle.

“As we’ve said before – we believe that Terminal Gate Pricing, supported by a robust industry code, will assist in creating a more observable wholesale market and enhanced competitive conditions.

“It is our hope that it will also establish the information gathering framework required for the Government to monitor prices more consistently across the market so that data is as accurate as possible,” concludes Mike.

The Commission has acknowledged that good levels of innovation in the industry are providing customers with increased choice and Z is committed to continuing with its innovation work to improve customer experience to the benefit of our customers.

ENDS

Media enquiries: Victoria Crockford – Victoria.crockford@z.co.nz  

13/11/2019 - General News

Z opens first Habitual Fix on a highway site

Z Energy has opened the first ever Habitual Fix on a highway to give commuters and holiday makers a healthy option at the popular Bombay stop-over south of Auckland. 

Habitual Fix opened on 13 November in the new Z Bombay service station at the Bombay Motorway Service Centre. It’s a first for Z and for the New Zealand healthy food franchise, which until now has been available only in urban environments.

Z’s GM Retail, Andy Baird, says people driving through one of Auckland’s busiest commuter and traveller stopovers at Bombay deserve a healthier option. 

The upwards of 40,000 vehicles driving north and south on this stretch of motorway every day will now have a choice to get fresh, healthy food quickly instead of the traditional fast-food highway options on offer nearby, says Andy.  

“Anyone whose been stuck in Auckland traffic knows you don’t get free of it until you’re over the Bombay Hills. With the new Habitual Fix and Z on the southern side of the road, Aucklanders can get to the end of the motorway, take a breather knowing they’re passed the traffic, refresh and get on their way home, or off on holiday. 

Habitual Fix at Z

Habitual Fix counter at Z

Andy says service stations are known for sugary snacks and limited fresh options, while the Kiwi Habitual Fix with its fresh salads, sandwiches and smoothies,hasn’t been easily accessible for those on the road. 

We’ve heard New Zealanders say for a long time they want healthy choices on the go,meanwhile demand for quick options in stopovers like Bombay is unabating. People shouldn’t have to choose between fast and healthy, so we’ve paired up with Habitual Fix to offer a solution in this busy spot. 

Z Bombay, which opens this week,is the first of Z’s new-look stores on a highway where customers will also have access to ZEspress barista coffee, a picnic area, a New Zealand Post depot, and forecourt service from 10am-5pm. The site will employ 15 people. 

Z Bombay is a bus stop for Intercity buses as well as a hub for those traveling to the rapidly growing Waikato town of Pokeno. 

Fresh, healthy choices when you’re on the road are hard to find and that’s not cool for our health as a nation. Now atZ Bombay when people fuel up their vehicles for their journeys, they can fuel their bodies with healthy food too.” 

“We’ve opened in time for summer at the gateway to Hamilton, Bay of Plenty and the Coromandel so that Habitual Fix is available for the tens of thousands of holiday makers heading in and out of Auckland on roadies this summer,” says Andy.  

Z Bombay and its Habitual Fix is a trial as Z experiments with ways to make its retail stores better for customers.If Habitual Fix proves to be a popular alternative to the fast food nearby, Z will look to roll out more Habitual Fixes in other convenient commuter locations. 

30/10/2019 - General News

Sharetank gives Kiwis control to pre-purchase fuel on their terms

For the first time in New Zealand people can now use a virtual fuel tank to buy fuel in advance, putting more control in the hands of consumers to choose when they buy fuel and at what price. No longer are consumers constrained by the size of their tank.

Z Energy has co-created the virtual fuel tank, named Sharetank, with customers and frontline staff and is trialling it from today through Z App.  

People can use Sharetank to pre-purchase Z fuel, rather than waiting for their tank to be empty. They can then use their virtual Sharetank litres later, to fill up at any Z service station.

Z’s Chief Innovation Officer, Scott K Bishop, says until now Kiwis have largely had to accept the current price of fuel and were limited to when they could buy it by the room in their tank.

“We know customers get frustrated when they fill up and the next day their local service station’s fuel price drops because of changes in the exchange rate, costs or local competition. Sharetank lets customers choose to buy fuel when the price is right for them. It’s great for budgeting.”

“Sharetank really is a win-win for our customers. If the pump price goes up after they’ve bought Sharetank litres, customers save as they’ve already locked in cheaper litres. If it goes down, customers will be alerted when they go to fill up and can choose to save their Sharetank litres for another day,” Scott says.

Z’s Chief Customer Officer, Jane Anthony, says using a virtual tank also saves time for people who drive across town to get a better price.

“Customers’ time is precious so when they pre-buy through Sharetank they’ll automatically get the lowest Z pump price within 30 kilometres of their location and won’t need to travel to get it. They can buy from the couch, work, the passenger seat or wherever suits them.”

Customers can top-up their tank with up to 1,000 litres of each of their chosen fuel types (Z Diesel, Z91 Unleaded or ZX95 Premium Unleaded), store it virtually until it’s needed, and choose to share access to their tank with up to 5 friends, whānau, people in the community or employees.

“In the past there hasn’t been an easy way to share fuel. With Sharetank you could bring family home for the holidays, send the kids off to Uni, pay for your apprentice’s fuel, share sports team travel costs or split fuel costs between flatmates who share a car, to name a few,” Jane says.

Z will use the trial to evolve and improve the Sharetank offering based on customer feedback following launch. Learn more at: https://www.sharetank.co.nz.

 

21/10/2019 - Sustainability news

Z Energy welcomes nomination for Deloitte Top 200 Sustainable Business Leadership award

Z Energy is today celebrating its nomination as ‘Sustainable Business Leader’ in this year’s Deloitte Top 200 business awards, alongside Mercury and Air New Zealand.

Z’s Chief Executive, Mike Bennetts, says Z’s nomination in the sustainability award’s inaugural year highlights the significant work that Z has done for a decade on ensuring that it is ‘at the heart’ of sustainability solutions and contributes positively to the welfare of New Zealand’s natural environment and its people.

“In November 2010, when we published our Sustainability Stand, we stated we would move from being in the middle of the problem to being at the heart of the solution. This nomination recognises all the steps we’ve taken on the way to achieve that purpose. For example, we are currently halfway through reducing our operational carbon emissions by 30% from a 2017 baseline.

“As low as our operational emissions go, the big issue for climate change is the emissions from the products we sell, these being 150 times the impact of our operational emissions. That’s where our attention is right now, with our investment in climate positive car-sharing company, Mevo and biofuels, and a look at EV charging stations and hydrogen as well. We look forward to potential partnerships with other nominated businesses to bring these choices to life for Kiwis”, says Mike.

Z’s Sustainability and Community Manager, Gerri Ward, says that she is proud of Z’s sustainability record and the organisation-wide commitment that supports Z’s Sustainability Stand.

“This nomination is not about one person or one role, but about the effort going on everyday across the entire Z network to make sustainability a way of working. It has always been our aim to provide leadership not just by way of what we do, but the way that we do it.

“From our $1.5 million per year investment in permanent forest projects to voluntarily offset our operational emissions, to our sponsorship of over 40,000 communityplanted trees via Trees That Count, to establishing New Zealand’s largest private recycling scheme, to our biodiesel plant, to our hybrid company fleet, to our hosting of international energy experts such as Bloomberg New Energy Finance founder Michael Liebreich, we aim to challenge our staff, other businesses and government stakeholders to always aim for the best, most enduring sustainability outcomes,” says Gerri.

Z looks forward to attending the awards night on December 5, 2019.

24/09/2019 - General News

Customer demand for fresh food sees Z launch first Habitual Fix

First Habitual Fix at Z makes healthy eating an easier option for Kiwis on the go

 

Service stations are typically known for packaged snacks and limited fresh food options but Z is flipping the typical service station model on its head with the launch of its first in-store Habitual Fix to make finding fresh food easier for those on the go.

The Kiwi energy company’s first Habitual Fix is opening at Z Royal Oak service station on Mt Albert Road on Tuesday 24 September, offering a full menu of healthy, fresh food made in front of customers.

Z’s General Manager of Retail, Andy Baird, says there’s a big gap in New Zealand for fresh, healthier food that is available quickly, especially outside main shopping areas and malls.

“Fresh, healthy choices for people who are in transit are still really hard to find in New Zealand. We want to start changing that by offering fresh food at our convenient locations.”

“Customers have been clear they want fresher and better food at service stations. We hunted for a way to provide it and it made sense to pair up with a proven New Zealand owned brand that offers fresh quality food,” says Andy.

Z will trial Habitual Fix at Royal Oak and, if it proves to be something customers want, the company will look to roll it out to other Z service stations.

“With the boom of no-frills unmanned stations by other brands we’re doing something different that gives communities somewhere to go for fast, fresh healthy food in convenient locations.”

“Some service stations offer so-called fresh options, but no one is offering up anything this good, fresh and made in-store. Habitual Fix has crafted their quality products with New Zealanders in mind, rather than a global fast-food offer put into this market,” says Andy.

With more than 190 Z service stations around New Zealand Z has the perfect network for rolling out Habitual Fix and make fresh food more accessible to people with busy lives.

Z has always said it’s focus is on offering more than just fuel, and this is a new way it will be seeking to add extra value to its customers by making it easier to choose fresh, healthy food.

“We have masses of pie lovers and we stand by our pies but we know that people like variety and are looking for healthier options. Just because you have a busy life doesn’t mean you should have limited food options,” says Andy.

Like all existing Habitual Fix locations fruits and vegetables will be delivered fresh into store and meats will be of the highest deli grade and sourced locally where possible.

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