Climate Leaders Coalition Infographic for website or social media use

3R Group has signed up to the Climate Leaders Coalition, joining a group of businesses dedicated to “forging a path to create a future that is low-emission, positive for our businesses and economy, and inclusive for all New Zealanders”. (CEO Climate Change Statement)

This commits us to:

    • measure our greenhouse gas emissions and publicly report on them
    • set a public emissions reduction target consistent with keeping within 2° of warming
    • work with our suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

Even though we are only a small business with a turnover of less than $5M pa and 26 staff working nationally we believe our role is to lead the way for other SMEs. While we are among giants of industry, if you don’t measure you can’t monitor and if you can’t monitor then you can’t mitigate – every small piece makes a difference.

Working for a better future

At 3R Group we aim to make our world a more sustainable place to live and do business.

We do it by supporting the development of a circular economy through creating or managing product stewardship schemes, finding innovative uses for recovered materials or helping businesses take a fresh look at their waste.  And, by minimising harm to the environment by providing a pathway for the safe disposal of chemicals.

And of course, it’s in the way we operate our business; managing and reducing our carbon emissions, and supporting the drive for action on zero waste and climate change.

So, what have we been doing to date?

In 2013 we became CEMARsCertTM certified with the goal of reducing our total carbon emissions by 20% by 2020.  In 2016, we took the next step and became carboNZeroCertTM certified, which means not only do we manage and reduce our carbon emissions, but we also offset our remaining emissions with carbon credits.  We decided to purchase these from Hinewai Reserve in Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch.

Hinewai Reserve

Hinewai Reserve

By the end of the last financial year (2016-2017), our emissions were 35% below our 2013-2014 baseline of 403.68 tCO2e, and well below our targeted 20% reduction.  In recognition of this, in June 2018, Enviro-Mark Solutions released its list of New Zealand Carbon Reduction Exemplars with 3R among the ranks.

As part of our commitment to a low-emission future, we will continue to challenge ourselves, and our suppliers, to reduce our emissions even further, and in particular to grow the programmes we manage to increase the positive impact.

Reduction through recycling and reuse

Recycling and reuse isn’t just about keeping materials out of landfill; it can also have an impact on climate change. Recycling just one tonne of plastic, for example, results in a saving of over 5,700 Kwh of energy and 16.3 barrels of oil (Source: Stanford University).

In the 14 years we’ve been operating, we have collected 7,848 tonnes of material for recycling, including paint, plastic and steel. This has contributed to fewer emissions and reduced demand on virgin materials.

Even in programmes where materials are not recovered, but rather safely disposed of, as with our ChemCollect service and The Great DDT Muster, we can still positively impact climate change.  In this case, 3R donates $200 for every tonne of chemicals collected to a Million Metres Stream project, for the rehabilitation of New Zealand’s waterways and wetlands.  This planting, along with the purchase of carbon credits, contributes to action on climate change by sequestering carbon.

Here’s a summary of some of the positive impacts from the programme we create or manage:

Paint and packaging (Resene PaintWise and Dulux Paint and Packaging Take Back)

        • 4.6 million individual items collected for recycling
        • More than 835,000kg of steel and 337,000kg of plastic recycled
        • More than 700,000kg of solvent-based paint sent for solvent recovery

Find out more: Resene PaintWise and Dulux

SeatSmart child car seat recycling

        • Nearly 8,500 seats kept out of landfill
        • More than 29,400kg of plastic and metal collected for recycling

Find out more

Glass Packaging Forum

        • Over one tonne of natural resources are saved for every tonne of glass recycled into new containers
        • Every tonne of glass containers recycled saves approximately 670kg of CO2 emissions over virgin materials
        • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled over and over without loss of purity

Find out more

Rebound mattress recycling

3R has been working on a mattress product stewardship scheme, called Rebound. Rebound has the potential to:

        • Prevent some 300,000 mattresses from going to landfill each year
        • Result in hundreds of tonnes of steel, wood, polyurethane and coir being recycled or reused and avoid virgin materials being manufactured or imported

Find out more

Into the future

We are always looking for new ways to increase sustainability and foster the circular economy. Two of the latest projects are:

End of life tyres – we are the project managers of the Tyrewise Working Group, a coalition of industry representatives working to develop a stewardship programme for end of life tyres. Once a programme is in place it will effectively put an end to tyre stockpiles and dumping of tyres, and the waste of resources they represent.  Find out more

Lubricant packaging – we are also project managers of the Lubricant Container Stewardship Programme. It aims to create a product stewardship scheme for the more than 7 million of lubricant containers that get sent to landfill each year in New Zealand. Like tyres, these containers represent a huge potential resource which could be recycled, reducing the demand for virgin materials.  Find out more