Switching to electric cars and trucks can improve the climate impact of your business.

Small businesses in New Zealand now have an easy-to-use, free tool to help them reduce their carbon emissions. The tool, called the Climate Action Toolbox, has been created through a major collaboration between the public and private sector involving the Sustainable Business Network, business.govt.nz, Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA), BNZ, Meridian Energy and design agency DNA. 

The toolbox, which was just released on business.govt.nz , helps businesses create a tailored step-by-step plan they can use to reduce emissions.

Why the Climate Action Toolbox was created

The Climate Change Commission identified a need for tools to help smaller businesses take action on climate change.

“Many small businesses want to act responsibly by taking action on climate. However, they may be unsure how to get started,” says Small Business Minister Stuart Nash.

“They often have limited funds and time and find the array of existing tools confusing. The Climate Action Toolbox makes it easy for small businesses to act, and it’s free.”

Small-to-medium businesses make up a large part of New Zealand’s economy and their combined efforts on climate change could have a significant effect on the country’s emissions.

“I am sure there will be plenty of small businesses out there looking at the scale of what we need to do to reduce emissions and wondering if the small steps they take can, or will, have an impact. But small differences can add up to big change. And so it’s good to see a toolbox being made available that can help business identify the small, but significant, difference they can make to the future of our planet,” says Climate Change Minister James Shaw.

Rachel Brown, ONZM, CEO and founder of the Sustainable Business Network says the creation of the toolbox means there are no excuses for inaction on climate change any more.

“We know businesses want to do the right thing for our climate. The challenge for many, particularly smaller businesses, is what to do. This is why we collaborated to create the Climate Action Toolbox, which is an excellent resource for business. It’s free, super easy to use and can be tailored to the individual circumstances of any small to medium sized business.”

Prudence Marx is Director of Marx Design. She says: “We knew we needed to take action on climate. But, as a small business we were not sure what to do or what actions would be best for the environment and the impact those actions would have on our business. We found the toolbox really helpful, easy to follow and it’s given us a great action plan!”

How the Toolbox works

The Climate Action Toolbox provides tailored advice and support in five major areas:

  • Moving people
  • Moving goods
  • Office operations
  • Site operations and equipment
  • Designing and making products.

Businesses go through a self-assessment to identify which areas are relevant to them. Under each area, they can choose from a range of specific actions to improve their climate impact.

 There are over 40 actions, including:

  • Switching to electric vehicles or shared vehicles
  • Limiting non-essential travel
  • Installing LED lighting
  • Converting to clean energy equipment.

Inspiring case studies of New Zealand businesses are also provided, giving real-life examples of what they’re doing to lessen their climate impact.

View the Climate Action Toolbox: https://www.tools.business.govt.nz/climate/

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