April 22, 2023

Taking Steps Toward Climate Positivity

ENGEO New Zealand is excited to announce that we have committed to going Climate Positive in 2023!  

Climate positive means that we’re going beyond carbon neutrality by removing more carbon from the atmosphere than we produce. We will achieve this by both reducing our carbon footprint and funding carbon sequestration projects such as reforestation, regenerative agriculture, or carbon capture technologies. ENGEO is working with EKOS to achieve climate positivity. Under EKOS standards, a business must measure its carbon emissions, reduce them as much as possible, and then offset its CO2 emissions by 120%. Meaning that we will not only become net zero with respect to our carbon footprint, but sequester more carbon than we produce as part of our business activities. 

“As a company that puts a lot of value in face-to-face collaboration, our challenge is to get every last benefit out of any carbon investment we make, e.g. don’t just fly to a meeting / project at the other end of the country but combine it with other work-related activities whilst you’re there. This means we’ll get more benefit out of the carbon we are investing in our activities.” –  Gareth Ward, Senior Environmental Scientist, ENGEO 

In 2022, our New Zealand offices undertook an EKOS carbon footprinting exercise followed by the development of our smart carbon reduction strategy. Through this exercise, we identified that our top 5 carbon contributors are: project related fuel consumption (i.e., ENGEO fleet vehicles), air travel, electricity use, waste, and supplementary business travel (i.e., rental cars, taxis). In order to achieve our goal of climate positivity, we came up with short, medium, and long-term actions and goals: 

  • Ensuring that we are efficient and practical when it comes to our business trips 
  • Encouraging the use of technology for meeting remotely where practicable. 
  • Practicing recycling and composting. All offices will provide rubbish bins for different waste types, including soft plastics and batteries.
  • No single-use materials when practical. We supply proper cutlery, glassware, and plates at catered lunches and in the kitchen. We also do not offer guests single-use cups of coffee when visiting the office.
  • Encouraging behavioural changes such as turning off computers at the end of the day and using reusable coffee cups for takeaway coffees.
  • Reducing use of work vehicles, where practicable, such as walking or taking a bike/scooter to meetings. When utilising Uber for business, opting-in for hybrid/electric vehicles for pick-up. 

The offsets we purchase via EKOS are ethical carbon credits from the EKOS carbon project supply chain, organisations, and products. These credits directly support the establishment and protection of indigenous forests and the sustainable continuous cover of exotic forests and woodlots. In other words, our carbon credits are used to plant new trees in forests around New Zealand, including Kānuka Hill, Kern Creek, and Rarakau Rainforest, to name a few. These efforts towards climate positivity aid forests, which in turn benefit people through restoration of ecosystems, natural erosion control, flood protection, stream protection, and mitigating climate change. 

Interested in learning more about sustainability? Check out our podcast, Down To Earth With ENGEO, where our hosts discuss the intersections of sustainability and infrastructure. Find it now on all popular streaming platforms.

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