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Stats NZ survey shows a third of NZ businesses had been acting in response to climate change ahead of emissions reporting rules taking effect and the Government releasing its Emissions Reduction Plan

Business / news
Stats NZ survey shows a third of NZ businesses had been acting in response to climate change ahead of emissions reporting rules taking effect and the Government releasing its Emissions Reduction Plan

Just over a third of New Zealand-based businesses took action on climate change over the past two years, according to a 2021 Statistics New Zealand survey of 7000 businesses, with at least six employees.

Nearly a quarter of businesses responded by reducing waste, 11% switched to more sustainable suppliers and 10% increased their use of digital technologies.

The main reasons businesses took action were public opinion and pressure from customers and those from within their organisations.

Experiencing the physical impacts of climate change, minimising supply chain disruptions and taking advantage of opportunities presented by climate change were further down the list.

Of the businesses that acted in response to climate change, 10% measured their direct greenhouse gas emissions. These are emissions from sources controlled by the business. For example, natural gas used to heat a building, or the fuel used in trucks operated by the business.

Meanwhile 6% of businesses that took action measured their indirect emissions. These are emissions that result from activities across the supply chain. For example, for a business in the service industry this could include emissions from the generation of the electricity it uses, or from the disposal of its waste.

Stats NZ business performance manager Ricky Ho said, “The survey showed that businesses in industries that were major contributors to direct greenhouse gas emissions, such as agriculture and power and waste, were more likely to develop programmes to offset their emissions, compared with other businesses.”

The figures are interesting, as passage of the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill in October 2021 made New Zealand one of the first countries in the world to require mandatory climate-risk reporting in the financial sector.

The new regime requires large banks, credit unions, building societies, managers of registered investment schemes, insurers and most equity and debt issuers on the NZX to assess and publicly disclose their responses to climate-related risks. 

The Climate Change Commission has recommended that the Government expands this list.

The Government is expected to release its much-anticipated Emissions Reduction Plan on May 31. The plan will lean on advice provided by the commission and will need to guide New Zealand to meeting its legislated carbon budgets.  

While the Government has indicated the large increase in operational expenditure pencilled in for Budget 2022 (to be released on May 19) will go towards climate-related initiatives, some businesses will likely also have to bear the cost.

Coming back to the Stats NZ survey, one in five businesses reported that cost was the main factor that stopped them from making changes to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or adapt to climate change. Other reasons given were lack of management resources, lack of viable technology, and having other priorities.

Overall, only 45% of businesses planned to take action in response to climate change in the next five years. Meanwhile 10% of businesses planned to measure their greenhouse gas emissions over the next five years.

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In the extreme end, do we have to give up eating meat.


Would that be mandated for all the hunter/fisher gatherers that keep their families fed here?
I thought feral deer, goats and pigs were seen as anti-CO2 agents in NZ due to chewing on the native vegetation.


No point in businesses even trying while tiwai point and other large emitters including agriculture get a free pass .


Yes, let's shut down Tiwai and get our meat, milk and aluminium from China too. It worked so well for Methanex and methanol.

"Chinese private-sector firm Wanhua Chemical earlier this week started up a new coal-based methanol plant at Yantai in Shandong province.

The new plant has a nameplate capacity of 600,000 t/yr and can produce up to 670,000 t/yr of methanol.

Wanhua has mothballed its old, coal-based methanol plant with 200,000 t/yr capacity at the same site."…

"With China’s growing dairy industry and their demand for high-quality alfalfa hay, that country set a new annual record for alfalfa hay imports from the United States for the second year in a row (see Figure 2). The fear that China wouldn’t return to the U.S. following some high-tariff months during 2019 certainly hasn’t come to fruition. In fact, just the opposite has occurred."…


Shaw has managed to claw back some of Tiwai's free carbon credits , about $ 60  million worth .