Aotearoa, we have a problem.
Between us — us selling, you buying — we emit around 9 million tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year. That’s about 9% of New Zealand’s total emissions. And, those emissions are contributing to the escalating impacts of climate change.
Yep, we’re giving nature some serious gas.
The heart of the solution to all the excess carbon is pretty straightforward: we need to reduce how much fossil fuel we use.
We know that’s hard — we’re selling the stuff. None of us is perfect, but we all need to try. The moment to start is now. And we can help.
When you use Carbon Count in Z App, you can see the carbon emissions of each fill and choose to offset them through local permanent forests. Or you can manually enter litres from any fuel retailer and choose to offset them — it's an industry issue, after all.
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.
Many people want to take climate change action, but they don’t know where to start. Z has developed an offsetting tool, Carbon Count to help people make the first step by paying the carbon cost of their driving to permanent, local forests, while sending the message that everybody needs to use less fuel and use it responsibly when they do.
Permanent forests create carbon sinks, which are like the lungs of the planet – they suck in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Without them, humans simply would not exist. The more permanent forests we protect and regenerate, the more carbon we trap, rather than release into the atmosphere.
When you offset your emissions with Z, it’s not a grow and mow deal somewhere on the other side of the world. You’re supporting a local company managing local forests planted in a mix of exotic and native trees with the best possible long-term carbon-locking outcomes. When those forests flourish, so does our native wildlife, our local communities and our soil and water quality can benefit too. With a small action, you can make an impact that lasts generations.
Carbon offsetting is the act of compensating for the emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent released into the atmosphere. The aim is to balance the amount of emissions going into the atmosphere by sequestering - or "sucking up" - some of those emissions, primarily through forestry. Put simply: the more trees that are planted and protected, the more carbon that is absorbed from the atmosphere. Offsetting should never be considered a licence to emit, but is a way of giving people the opportunity to lessen the impact of the emissions that they are currently unable to reduce. Read more about native trees and carbon sequestration on the Trees that Count website.
A carbon sink is anything that absorbs more carbon than it releases as carbon dioxide. Trees are one of the best examples of a carbon sink - they take up carbon dioxide in the air, and through photosynthesis convert it into sugar and oxygen which is released back into the air, which decreases carbon dioxide in atmosphere. This process is also known as 'sequestering' or 'locking'.
A carbon credit is a permit that can be 'redeemed' for one tonne of pollution. Most credits in New Zealand are 'New Zealand Units' (NZUs), which are issued by the Government and operate a bit like the carbon 'currency'. The credit/allowance has a cap, a limit, to the amount one company can emit. This is to ultimately achieve lower global emissions. Carbon credits can also be traded among companies/industry to make sure they stay within their emitting 'cap'. If companies fail to stay within a carbon credit cap then, they can face penalties. When the carbon credit is retired (or "cancelled" in some registries) it is removed from circulation in that registry, so it can't be used again by another buyer.
No, carbon is one of seven greenhouse gases. Carbon offsetting is typically transacted in 'carbon', or CO2-e (the 'e' being equivalent) because it's a way of expressing how the emissions from various greenhouse gases compare to carbon in terms of their 'global-warming potential'. In practical terms, this means converting the amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential. The others are:
Cutting back on using a petrol or diesel vehicle is obviously a big one, even driving more efficiently can reduce your fuel use and your carbon impact. There are also things you can think about around the home - like heating and food waste. The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has a great resource at Gen Less to help you out or check out their driving tool.
Nope. Nada. Zilch.
Natives are prioritised as they have the advantage of habitat compatibility and wider biodiversity benefits, while exotic species are better at locking carbon in more effectively in the shorter term. So both are included in the forests under management by Permanent Forests NZ.
As per the Ministry for the Environment, the ETS works in the following way: "the Government gives eligible foresters units for carbon dioxide that is absorbed by their trees. The foresters can sell these units on the ETS market. Businesses with surrender obligations (legal obligations to hand over units) must purchase enough units to cover their emissions. These units are then surrendered to the Government. Carbon Count is completely separate from the ETS. Funds received from Carbon Count do not go towards our compliance costs associated with the ETS, which are already bundled into the price of fuel. We've decided to offer voluntary offsets to customers as this goes further to address our emissions problem than the ETS by enabling the protection of permanent forests that are under management by one accredited provider that Z has vetted.
We calculate your emissions based on your fuel type (diesel or petrol) and the number of litres you fill up multiplied by the carbon emissions factor from the Ministry for Environment's '2019 Summary of Emissions Factors' where Petrol = 2.45 kg CO2-e/litre and Diesel = 2.69 kg CO2-e/litre
Good question. It depends on things like the type of trees (native or exotic) and costs of planting. But, as an example a mature hardwood stand 'locks in' about 300-800 tonnes of CO2 per hectare.
No. The emission factors that are used to calculate your emissions are based on Ministry of Environment-assessed standard emission factors. The most accurate picture we can get at this time is what your fuel type is and how many litres you have filled up.
Your Carbon Count transactions are GST exempt.
Yep, absolutely you can. Pumped is available to those who choose to offset.
If you don't use Z App to pay, you can still download it and use Carbon Count with our 'manual emissions' feature. You simply enter the litres that you've purchased with us or other fuel retailers and we'll calculate the emissions and show you how much it will cost to offset. What's more, when you download Z App you have access to our other great products like Fastlane and Sharetank.
When you fill up with Fastlane, redeem Sharetank litres, or use your Z App to scan your Pumped discount, Carbon Count automatically calculates your fuel emissions. In addition, you can manually add litres from fill-ups that are not automatically calculated in Z App. Note: if you scan your Airpoints or Flybuys card at Z, your fuel emissions will not be calculated automatically at this time.
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