About Z

Tourists help with New Zealand’s ‘clean, green’ image

10/08/2015 - Sustainability news

Hannah Heberley

Photo: Matt, from our Christchurch office, and Kevin and Lynne Burns from Z’s ‘Scenic South’ retail cluster.

Tourists arriving in Queenstown can now play their part in maintaining New Zealand’s clean, green image thanks to a recycling pilot which will see degradable bags for recyclable waste put into rental vehicles leaving the region.

The initiative, a partnership between Z Energy and Tourism Holdings (THL), was the winning idea from Z’s recent sustainability competition in which it challenged the 3,000 site staff across its retail network to come up with an idea that highlights what sustainability means to them and their neighbourhoods.

“At Z, we reckon we’re making good progress on our sustainability journey, and we’re always looking for ways to do things better,” says Z’s Sustainability Manager, Gerri Ward.

“Our incredible site staff are one of our best assets here at Z, and given they’re out there in the community, we reckon they often have the best local knowledge when it comes to things we could be doing differently.”

Z’s ‘Scenic South’ retail cluster, led by Kevin and Lynne Burns from Queenstown, submitted the winning idea after experiencing issues with visitors to Queenstown dumping mixed waste rubbish.

“Kevin and Lynne identified an issue with campervans and rental cars, especially those on key tourist routes in the region, dumping bags of non-recyclable rubbish in – or even outside - the forecourt recycling bins at a number of Z stations,” says Gerri.

“Their suggestion – providing tourists with different coloured bags so they could sort their waste inside their vehicles and separate out those recyclables – was a fantastic one, and exactly the kind of thing we were after with this competition.”

For THL, partnering with Z to support the initiative was a natural fit.

“As one of the largest providers of holiday campervans for rent and sale in New Zealand, we thought that enabling visitors to New Zealand to sort their own rubbish by fitting out our campervans and rental vehicles with separate bags was a brilliant idea,” says THL’s Queenstown Acting Branch Manager, Teresa Blanpain.

“Both Queenstown and the Central Otago region in general are tourist hot spots, and areas where a lot of our customers start their journeys, so it seemed like the perfect location to trial the pilot.”

Gerri says the company’s sustainability competition was a hit, with 77 ideas submitted from across Z’s national retail network.

“We reckon we’re going to be able to implement around three quarters of them, which is obviously a great result for Z and for our communities.

“Working with THL to get the separate waste and recycling bags into all of the rental campervans leaving Queenstown from early August is a great start, and we look forward to seeing these pre-sorted bags turning up on our Z sites.”

Z says it plans to hold the competition annually to source other original, locally-focused and scalable ideas from its retail site staff network.