The 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. For us, it’s the main reason we created our Carbon Tracker and why we’ve partnered up with the awesome folks at Trees That Count.

We’re also determined to minimise the day-to-day carbon emission levels of Flick as a business, and encourage our staff, and our customers, to do the same. So, we’re amped to once again have our have our Toitū net carbonzero certification renewed. Flick YEAH!

What does being ‘Toitū net 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 a company has received its Toitū net carbonzero certification, compliance with the standards is then independently verified each year in order to remain certified.

How (and when) did Flick become Toitū net 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 electricity use for our office and remote staff, air travel, and car use.

Since then (and despite a big increase in staff), we’ve reduced our travel, waste and electricity emissions by 10% (comparative to the base year), which means we’ve met all our emissions reductions targets – yippee! Our measured emissions for the 2021/2022 year totalled 18.05 tCO2e.

What’s Flick done to reduce emissions?

In terms of our travel emissions, we’re big on being remote-friendly and supporting staff members who want to work from home more often. We’re consider the necessity of each and every flight we book, and encourage our office cyclists (we have lots) by providing them with a space to store their bikes and gear.

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. Staff can also make use of the Reuseabowls in our kitchen to cut back on takeaway waste.

What else? We installed LED lighting throughout the office, and cut back the air con in favour of more energy efficient heating and cooling methods, like heat pumps, in our meeting rooms.

Do you offset your carbon emissions?

Yip, we do that too. For the last couple of years we’ve purchased carbon credits at Hinewai Native Forest Reserve on the Banks Peninsula, Pigeon Bush in the Wairarapa, the Arawera Forest in South Taranaki and Spray Point Permanent Forest Sink in Marlborough. For the 2021/2022 year, our carbon credits were from Duntulm Farm in the Wairarapa and Kurunui Station in Otago.

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 some of the projects Flick’s carbon credits currently support?

Duntulm Farm is a 250 hectare block located in Wairarapa’s beautiful Mangatārere Valley and bordering the Tararua Forest Park. A former sheep and beef farm, Duntulm Farm now consists of mature forest (including some rimu thought to be over 1,000 years old!) and native regenerative bush, providing an ever-increasing habitat for native birds, bats and geckos. Carbon credits like ours help in pest control, native propagation and planting, and establishing tracks through the forest.

Kurunui Station, near Moeraki, comprises a total of 750 hectares of retired farm land now covenanted under the QE II National Trust. Within the station is an area of around 100 hectares that’s currently registered as a permanent carbon sink, where trees store carbon from the atmosphere as they grow. Kurunui Station is home to some rare and endangered flora and fauna, including populations of native fish like the Canterbury galaxias and the longfin eel.

All in all, it was an easy decision for us to be involved with the Toitū net carbonzero scheme, and we’re stoked to be achieving our emissions goals with each passing year!