Flick Electric CompanyThe Blog

So Flick's Toitū carbonzero certified... but what does that mean?!

There’s a tonne of greenwashing out there when it comes to our power companies, and that can make it tricky to sort the wheat from the chaff, but for us, it’s the main reason we created our flickin’ fabulous carbon counter, CHOICE, and why we’ve partnered up with the awesome folks at Trees That Count.

We’re also determined to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to minimising the day-to-day carbon emission levels of Flick as a business, and hopefully in the process, encouraging our staff, and other businesses, to do the same. So, we’re amped to once again have our have our Toitū carbonzero certification renewed. Flick YEAH.

Sh*t’s getting real when it comes to climate change, and here at Flick we intend to be part of the push for a cleaner, healthier planet - here’s what we’re doing about it.

But what does being ‘Toitū carbonzero certified’ mean?

Long story short, it means that we’ve achieved a net zero carbon balance - in other words, we’re carbon neutral. Once you’ve received your Toitū carbonzero certification, compliance with the standards is then independently verified each year in order to remain certified.

How (and when) did Flick become Toitū carbonzero certified?

We first became certified in 2016, following the rigorous audit process, which helped us to accurately measure our greenhouse gas emissions. Flick’s greenhouse gas emissions come mainly from waste to landfill, air travel, electricity use, and car and taxi use.

Since then, we’ve worked our butts off to lower our carbon emissions in all of these areas, and it’s been a big success (and that’s despite an increase in our company size). This year (2019/2020) our emissions dropped to 21.45 tCO2e, an epic 50% lower than last year’s total of 42.54 tCO2e - and we’re not stopping there, either. As part of the Climate Leaders Coalition, we’re also committed to maintaining our scope 1 and 2 emissions at as close to zero as possible.

What’s Flick done to reduce emissions?

We’ve gone in strong, with the aim of dropping our emissions right across the board. For travel, that means considering the necessity of each and every flight we book, encouraging our office cyclists (we have lots), and supporting our staff members who work remotely. When it comes to our waste, we use the bright and beautiful Method Recycling bins, which have led to a big reduction in our waste, and our compost is also collected and taken away. Plus, we’ve also installed LED lighting throughout the office, and used energy efficient heating (like heat pumps) in our meeting rooms.

Do you offset your carbon emissions?

Yip, we do that too. For the last couple of years, through the Toitū carbonzero certification scheme, we’ve purchased carbon credits at Hinewai Native Forest Reserve on the Banks Peninsula. This year, though, our carbon credits came from the Arawera Forest in South Taranaki.

Isn’t purchasing carbon credits just taking the easy way out?

Not at all. It’s a way of offsetting unavoidable carbon emissions, by supporting valuable and significant projects that are already making great progress in tackling issues like carbon emissions and conservation here in NZ.

So what do Flick’s carbon credits do?

Our carbon credits go towards regenerating native NZ forests.  The idea is that we buy carbon credits for retired land (land that’s not farmed anymore) so that the landowners can afford to actively increase the areas of native forest in NZ. These areas of native forest not only reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, but also help encourage biodiversity, water quality, and erosion control.

Can you tell me more about Arawera?

Arawera is a permanent carbon sink forest in South Taranaki, and sits at a total land size of 564 hectares. It’s made up of native bush, but also includes some exotics plants that act as a nurse crop for long-term, native regeneration. As a carbon sink, the forest helps to sequester carbon here in Aotearoa, and lessen the impacts of climate change. Importantly, too, Arawera forest helps to regenerate our native plants and wildlife, and return it to how it was before the forests were cleared.

For us, it was an easy decision to be involved with the Toitū carbonzero scheme. We all know that the world faces a huge challenge tackling carbon emissions and reducing the very real effects of climate change.

As a business, we’re very aware that we’ve got a responsibility to take action and lead from the front. So that’s what we’ll do, and do more of, as we grow. We hope you’ll join us!

Want to learn more about NZ’s electricity generation and the carbon emissions it produces? Have a read of this.

See why we reckon it’s important Kiwis have CHOICE.