Waste Management boss Tom Nickels believes all gases should be included in the Coalition Government's target to be Carbon Zero by 2030. He is optimistic that new industries will be created by this fundamental switch. Waste Management is among the 70 organisations which have made the Climate Change Commitment. Here Nickels explains what lies ahead:
Waste Management recently launched our inaugural Sustainability Strategy called For Future Generations. We spent considerable time developing the strategy, including consultation with external and internal stakeholders and analysis of the material issues they identified. Unsurprisingly, in our Environment programme area, we have included a key project to address the material issue of our greenhouse gas emissions.
So, what exactly are we doing? We have almost finalised our carbon footprint through the accredited CEMARS programme. This is something no other New Zealand waste company has done, and will enable us to create our GHG emission reduction plan, which we have committed to completing next year.
Already, though, we have taken a leadership position investing in new technology to bring the first fleet of electric trucks to New Zealand's roads. With no manufacturers selling electric trucks, we moved two years ago to start shipping diesel trucks to The Netherlands to convert them to electric. This pilot has provided intimate insights and expertise in electric trucks, so much so that we are now converting our own trucks in our EV Innovation Hub. By the end of 2019, we will have converted 20 trucks right here in Auckland.
In the last 6-12 months we've started to see some vehicle manufacturers producing electric trucks that meet our needs – and the needs of New Zealand's roads – and we are talking with them about importing new electric trucks into our fleet.
We firmly believe electric vehicles are the future. Our ultimate goal is to have an entirely electric, Carbon Zero fleet. With 850 trucks, we know it will take time but we are excited at the journey ahead and at the benefits it will deliver for us and for our environment.