Think about 2.3 million cars and their average emissions over a full year. Enviro-Mark Solutions and their clients have relieved the planet of the equivalent of nearly all those emissions - about 8.3 million tonnes of CO2 internationally.
It's a highly relevant statistic in a country and a world growing ever more alert to the need for environmental change - and Enviro-Mark Solutions, the leading provider of environmental certification in New Zealand and the organisation behind certification marks carboNZero, CEMARS, Energy-Mark and Enviro-Mark, say their 300 clients in five countries have saved the equivalent of those 2.3 million car emissions.
Even more than that, Dr Ann Smith, CEO of Enviro-Mark Solutions says: "Running a sustainable and environmentally-friendly business for the sake of altruistic corporate responsibility is admirable, but it also provides a powerful marketing and business opportunity.
"There's a lot to be gained from seizing the opportunities presented by a carbon-constrained planet and sporting the certification mark to prove it."
When the Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the United Nations in 2015, and the Paris Agreement signed last year, a filter of sustainability and environmental responsibility was suddenly applied to global business and government.
That mind shift was clearly demonstrated in New Zealand with the recent publication of the annual Colmar Brunton report Better Futures. It showed a marked swing in consumer attitudes - seeking out socially and environmentally responsible companies not only from which to buy, but also to work for.
The report showed an eight per cent increase in people committed to living a sustainable lifestyle in one year (from 2015 to 2016), and a 16 per cent increase in those 'worried about the impact of climate change on New Zealand'.
Those willing to pay "a bit more" for sustainable products and services increased seven per cent from last year, to 71 per cent. Every product category showed an increase in people who said issues of sustainability have an influence on who they buy from, from car makers (an increase of two per cent) to power companies (eight per cent), food and beverage producers (eight per cent), airlines (11 per cent), cosmetics (12 per cent), to banks and insurance companies (13 per cent and 14 per cent respectively).
However, the report also shows that three in 10 Kiwis don't feel well informed about sustainability and that seven in 10 New Zealanders cannot name a leading sustainable brand. Yet nine in 10 say they want to have all the facts so they can make intelligent decisions about the environment and sustainability.
That's where Enviro-Mark Solutions' four certification marks come in - allowing businesses and consumers to recognise an organisation's efforts to green their operation, while also being able to trust those claims through a rigorous third-party certification programme.
"Enviro-Mark Solutions' certifications show your customers and potential business partners that you're walking the talk," says Smith. The four certification marks are as follows:
• Enviro-Mark - systematic development and improvement of a credible environmental management system (EMS).
• CEMARS - Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme enables efficient and credible carbon footprint calculation, reporting and reduction.
• carboNZero - efficient and credible carbon footprint calculation, reporting, reduction and offsetting.
• Energy-Mark - systematic development and improvement of a credible energy management system.
CHEP New Zealand, a supply-chain solutions company supporting the food and grocery and general merchandise sectors, began work with Enviro-Mark Solutions in 2012 to attain the CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme) certification mark and have maintained it annually since.
Part of a large global conglomerate, CHEP New Zealand is a big player here, with over 320 employees in eight service centres and head office, working with a blue-chip client list to help get their products to the consumer. CHEP's business model involves the sharing and reuse of its pool of pallets, crates and containers amongst multiple participants across the supply chain with the aim of helping them reduce costs and operate their supply chains more safely and efficiently.
Country manager Mike O'Brien says: "We are promoting a brand of sustainability as part of our DNA, and it's really important we lead by example and do that credibly. Enviro-mark Solutions' CEMARS certification is a structured, audited programme we can rely on. It's doing a good job of helping companies be credible."
With a goal of reducing intensity emissions by 10 per cent over five years, the company has already reached 11 per cent total emissions reduction in just three years. They are well on their way to the global company's wider goal - a 20 per cent emissions reduction per unit by 2020.
O'Brien says a key benefit of CEMARS is clarity of the carbon footprint: "You can't manage what you can't measure, so once you actually get accurate measurement, you then can start focusing on where your emissions are occurring and what to do about it. CEMARS was able to help us measure and then put together a reduction plan."
O'Brien says CEMARS and the sustainability focus of the company makes for engaged employees who are proud to work there and actively seek initiatives for improvement.
"Over time, you get multiple people throughout your organisation finding ways of doing things more effectively."