Z App

Carbon Count

Driving change together

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.

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We’ve planted 4,000 hectares of permanent forest with 93,000 tonnes of carbon capture capability since 2017. 

 

Imagine how much more we could do together.

 

Why support permanent forests?

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 wouldn’t 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 natives 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.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is carbon offsetting?

    • What is carbon offsetting and how does it work?

      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.

    • What is a carbon sink?

      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'. 

    • What is a carbon credit?

      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. 

    • Why do we only talk about carbon? Is it the only greenhouse gas?

      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:

      • Methane (CH4), mainly from animals and waste
      • Nitrous oxide (N2O), mainly from agriculture
      • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), mainly from refrigerants
      • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), mainly from the electricity industry
      • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), mainly from aluminium production
      • Nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), mainly from production of silicon wafers, liquid crystal displays and silicon-based solar cells 

       

    • What other steps can I take to reduce my carbon impact?

      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

  • Where does my money go?

    • Does Z earn money off my contribution?

      Nope. Nada. Zilch.  

    • Does the money go to native trees or exotic trees?

      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

    • How does this work with the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)?

      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. 

    • How do you figure how much I will pay?

      The carbon price (also called 'NZU's) fluctuates on the carbon market (yes, we have one!) depending on supply and demand. The spot price reached a high of $29 / tonne CO2e in January 2020 (and could go higher again depending on the outcome of Emissions Trading Scheme reforms). Units purchased at market price are best suited to commercial timber forests, which are business-as-usual timber plantations with no restrictions on clear-fell harvesting or deforestation. We choose to partner with Permanent Forests New Zealand who operate under the PFSI (Permanent Forest Sink Initiative Scheme), the 'gold standard' in carbon forestry as they are permanent, New Zealand forests, legally protected by a covenant, and they have broader biodiversity benefits. These forests attract a higher rate on the market and therefore charge $35 / tonne CO2e. So, we calculate your emissions based on $35 / tonne CO2e. You're money is supporting the very best opportunity we have to sequester, or 'suck up', carbon on land. 
  • How do you calculate my emissions?

    • How do you calculate emissions and what offset is required?

      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

    • How many trees per dollar are protected?

      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.

    • Do my emissions change based on my vehicle type or size?

      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. 

    • Can I get a GST receipt?

      Your Carbon Count transactions are GST exempt.

    • Can I still get my Pumped discounts?

      Yep, absolutely you can. Pumped is available to those who choose to offset. 

  • How does this work with Z App?

    • What if I don't use Z App?

      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. 

    • How do emissions get added to Carbon Count through Z App?

      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.

    • I'm having problems with Carbon Count in Z App

      Flick us an email at carboncount@z.co.nz. If you can include a description of the issue, a screenshot and the type of phone you have, it will speed up our ability to help you out.