Public consultation is set to begin on the Zero Carbon Bill – legislation the government has promised will enshrine "bold new emissions reductions targets".
Enviro-Mark Solutions CEO Dr Ann Smith is fielding an increase in enquiries about measuring and managing emissions. Her organisation audits companies' emissions and offers the high profile carbon certification marks, carboNZero and CEMARS.
"Those who are sitting on the fence are realising that legislation is on its way and thinking they'd better find out what carbon footprints are all about," she says.
Under the guidance of Enviro-Mark Solutions, 2000 certificates have been issued confirming emissions measurement and reduction for over 500 companies.
"We've gained a huge amount of experience across all industries, from small business to large corporates and public sector organisations," says Smith.
She points to the New Zealand "exemplars" listed in the infographic and says they're great role models for others worried about complying with future legislation around emissions restrictions and are well placed to capitalise on opportunities arising from a carbon-constrained market.
"A company with a good handle on its emissions can expect to be more attractive to international markets and investors, have a competitive advantage in tendering or procurement and enjoy good consumer demand. They can also expect higher efficiency and cost savings", says Smith.
Enviro-Mark Solutions' CEMARS and carboNZero certifications show a company is actively managing its carbon emissions. Those with CEMARS certification measure emissions with a view to reduction, while carboNZero-certified members measure, reduce and offset their emissions to become carbon neutral.
Smith has long been anticipating a tightening of emissions reporting and regulation: "We're actually lagging behind in some areas. For example, in Australia, directors are legally liable if they ignore climate change risks.
"But we're ahead in other areas - just look at what the Superfund has done in assessing the carbon intensity of all the companies in its investment portfolio."
Smith is encouraging New Zealand businesses to have their say in the Zero Carbon Bill consultation process. "I'd love to see high engagement from New Zealand business in this process. Our clients are proof of what can be achieved – they're a community of like-minded organisations helping New Zealand to become a carbon neutral economy by 2050. We hope their achievements inspire others."
To have your say on the Zero Carbon Bill, visit https://www.mfe.govt.nz/have-your-say-zero-carbon