Environmental sustainability is at the very heart of who we are as a business. From the services we provide, to the way we operate, we constantly seek to reduce our impact on the planet.

We work with our customers, suppliers and staff to ensure our values of guardianship (environmental, social and financial) are part of our day-to-day and long-term decision making.

Our commitment to this is verified by independent third parties through our Toitu carbonzeroCertTM and ISO certification.  We are also members of the Climate Leaders Coalition and publish our commitment to sustainable development through annual reports submitted to the Sustainable Business Council.

Toitū carbonzero

In 2013, 3R decided to seek Toitū carbon reduction certification to provide assurance for our customers and business partners and demonstrate our commitment to sustainability.  It also allows us to evaluate and focus on our objectives to continually reduce our impact on the environment, and find efficiencies and potential cost savings.

We have been Toitū carbonreduce (then CEMARs) and now Toitū carbonzero certified since 2016.

Target setting

Having meet our original target of a 20% reduction by 2020, we have now set science-based targets.  These new targets continue our previous reduction efforts and allow us to project future emissions reductions as they relate to 2, 1.5 and 1 degree of global warming, with the aim of staying below the target of 2.

Looking to the future, we continue to juggle the dilemma of growing our business and the programmes we manage, while reducing our emissions in line with science-based targets.

Significant future reductions for fuel emissions can only come about through major changes to our fleet, which in turn is dependent on further investment in both our business and in New Zealand’s EV infrastructure and fleet capacity.  In the meantime, we will continue to seek reductions, such as improvements in diesel fleet efficiency, reducing air travel, switching to carbonzero suppliers, electric utes and other initiatives.

Our current targets

To reduce its emissions, 3R has developed a GHG emissions management plan and reduction targets.

Our targets include:

• An absolute reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions of 38% by 2030;
• A 12% reduction in Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 mandatory emissions (combined) by 2030; and
• A 5% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions (combined) by 31/03/2025.

Our science based targets only include scope 1 and 2, as our scope 3 activities are less than 40% of our total footprint (27% in 2019-2020 year).

Carbon offsetting

As part of our carbonzero certification we offset our unavoidable emissions with carbon credits. Over the years we have purchased credits from a mixture of New Zealand Permanent Forest Sink Initiatives, like Hinewai Reserve in Banks Peninsula near Christchurch (which we visited in 2017) or Puhi Peaks in Kaikoura, and overseas initiatives including solar and wind power projects.

The international projects are recognition that this is a global crisis and are certified by organisations such as the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and The Gold Standard giving us confidence that these credits meet the highest standards.

Climate Leaders Coalition

What is the CLC?

We are proud to be one of more than 100 New Zealand businesses which have joined forces to tackle climate change by forming the Climate Leaders Coalition.

The Chief Executives of each of the companies has signed the CEO’s Climate Change Statement, which recognises the role business can play in bringing about change and commits the companies to action. The goal of the coalition, which includes the leaders of Z Energy, Westpac, Ngai Tahu Holdings, Vector, Air New Zealand, Spark and NZ Post, is to help New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy and, in doing so, create a positive future for New Zealanders, business, and the economy.

Founding CEOs at Climate Leaders Coalition Launch 2018 (Photo: Peter Meecham)

Our commitment

By being a signatory to the Coalition we have agreed to the 2017 Statement:

1) Measure our greenhouse gas emissions and publicly reporting on them;
2) Set a public emissions reduction target consistent with keeping with 2 degrees of warming;
3) Work with our suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions;
4) We support the Paris Agreement & New Zealand’s commitment to it;
5) We support the introduction of a climate commission and carbon budgets enshrined in law.

We will be signing up to the 2019 Statement in 2021 as we already meet four out of the five criteria and are working on the remaining point which is around assessing our climate change risks and publicly disclosing them.

“Sustainability, the circular economy and emissions reductions have long been at the heart of the work we do at 3R Group. Becoming part of the Climate Leaders Coalition aligns perfectly with our business ethos, and we are proud to be involved. The Coalition challenges us all to go beyond sustainability so, working together, New Zealand can be a leader in action on climate change while transitioning to a net zero emission, circular economy society.” – 3R Chief Executive, Adele Rose

Sustainable Development Reporting

In New Zealand and elsewhere producing a Sustainable Development Report (SDR) has proven to be a valuable way for organisations to identify economic, environmental and social issues and impacts associated with their operations, highlight areas where performance can be improved, and also reveal areas where new opportunities can be developed.

A SDR is much more than just producing a report – it is an overall approach to deliver real improvements in an organisation’s economic, environmental and social performance.  It serves as a risk-management tool, is useful in developing and enhancing reputation, assists in improving communication internally and externally, and helps to develop new systems in their organisations.

We have been doing a Sustainable Development Report since 2014-2015 and each year we find the process to be just as valuable as the last as we work towards our goal of a world without waste.

We create a new report annually and submit it to the Sustainable Business Council for review.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on our business, we decided to do a combined 2 year report covering 2019-2020 and 2021-2022.  To meet our carbon reporting obligations for 2019-2020, we created a separate carbon emissions report.

ISO Certification

ISO 14001:2015

In 2008, 3R looked to align the business with an internationally recognised standard that would reinforce to their suppliers and customers our commitment to environmental management systems and safe work practices. The certification, audited by TELARC, provides this framework.

This certification shows that “we actually do what we say we do” and includes not only 3R operations but the paint product stewardship programmes, ChemCollect service and SeatSmart child car seat recycling programme (owned and operated by 3R).

ISO certification helps an organisation achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provide value for the environment, the organisation itself and interested parties. Consistent with 3R’s environmental policy, the intended outcomes of our environmental management system include:

  • enhancement of environmental performance;
  • fulfilment of compliance obligations;
  • achievement of environmental objectives.

ISO 45001:2018

Our ISO 45001 certification has been nearly four years in the making, with the decision to pursue it first made in 2018.

This certification means we are following an international gold standard in terms of how we ensure our people are kept safe, healthy and happy. It’s especially relevant for 3R Group considering the work our operations staff do; collecting and processing paint, collecting chemicals, driving trucks around the country and doing a fair bit of hands-on work.

After a great deal of groundwork we made an attempt at the certification in 2019. This was supposed to continue in 2020 however delays due to Covid-19 meant we had to start over as too much time had passed.

However, our team persisted and in mid-2021 we were certified.

The certification is valid for three years, but involves yearly ‘surveillance audits’, which not only help keep us sharp but provide a framework for us to grow with.

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