Taking better care of the environment continues to matter at Soar Printing.

The company has received further recognition for its efforts this month, winning the Excellence in Climate Action –Small Organisation category in the Enviro-Mark Solutions Awards in Auckland.

Jenny Carter, finance director with Soar Print, says the company had an early ambition of leading the New Zealand print industry in reducing carbon when it started measuring its emissions a decade ago.

She says, “We’ve been measuring our carbon output since 2009 with Enviro-Mark Solutions and we have been able to track our reductions over time.

“We evaluate everything with an eye to efficiency and the environment, whether choosing more efficient vehicles or choosing print machines based on environmental credentials, energy consumption and waste. As an example, we installed an energy efficient machine that allowed us to replace two less efficient machines, which resulted in energy savings of 20 per cent and a reduction in paper waste of over 50 tonnes per annum.”

Since 2015, Soar Print has cut its carbon emissions by 32 per cent by consistently focusing on carbon reducing initiatives such as investing in energy efficient technology and lower emission company vehicles, and by measuring and reporting on its carbon footprint. The company has this independently verified with carboNZero certification, through Enviro-Mark Solutions.

Carter says, “I feel quite passionate about it. As a financial person I see the financial benefits of reducing consumption of resources that emit greenhouse gases. If you can make financial savings, it helps the long-term sustainability of the business. And if we are saving money, that makes it easier to pay our staff more and give back to the community.”

Focus on data

Dr Ann Smith, chief executive at Enviro-Mark Solutions, says, “Soar Print has worked with Enviro-Mark Solutions through the carboNZero programme for 10 years. It is inspiring to see them work year on year to seek carbon reduction opportunities as established leaders in the print industry. The results reflect commitment, hard work and willingness to innovate. It is a real pleasure to announce them the winners in the Excellence in Climate Action – Small Organisation category, to recognise their passion for continual improvement.”

Soar Print has a focus on good data and reporting. It displays carbon reduction key performance indicators in its factory for all staff to see. It also uses energy solution providers that provide time of day metering, so management can monitor and investigate unusual energy consumption.

Jenny Carter adds that Soar Print has been able to grow its business, its employee numbers and pay its staff at least the minimum liveable wage, all while reducing emissions.

Staff members participate in initiatives through a dedicated Green Team: staff members from different parts of Soar Print’s business who meet regularly and go through what each department is implementing to cut energy consumption and reduce waste. Soar Print also provides feedback to its drivers on how efficiently they are driving.

Carter says, “We also have a continuous improvement programme that encourages staff to raise ideas of where improvements can be made. One of our values is sustainability. We present an award at our monthly staff meeting where ideas related to our values are recognised, and that includes sustainability. We also have annual awards and recognise sustainability in that context, too.”

Shrinking carbon footprints

Enviro-Mark Solutions works as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, a government-owned Crown Research Institute. It has provided environmental certification in New Zealand since 2001. Its programmes ensure New Zealand companies benefit from international best practice, applied science, and effective tools. Though developed for New Zealand business needs, Enviro-Mark Solutions’ offerings currently serve over 300 clients worldwide.

The Enviro-Mark Solutions Awards recognise organisations that have achieved outstanding reductions in carbon emissions in recent years using the carboNZero and Cemars programmes, as well as exceptional environmental performance through the Enviro-Mark programme.

The winning organisations from the major award categories have each reduced their carbon footprint by around 30 per cent on their base year figures, with two organisations reducing their carbon footprint by more than 75 per cent compared to base year.

Smith says the combined carbon reductions of the finalists in these categories are equivalent to taking more than 23,000 medium-sized cars off the roads for a year. She says, “These awards are a celebration of climate action success and of creative, genuine and dedicated methods of cutting carbon emissions.

“The winning organisations are leading the way in creating a better, healthier environment for all Kiwis. We are delighted to celebrate their impact and achievements in reducing New Zealand’s carbon footprint.”

Since its inception in 2001, Enviro-Mark Solutions members globally have achieved combined reductions of more than eight million tCO2e; the equivalent of the emissions of more than 387,000 New Zealand households for a year.

Smith says, “We all recognise that climate action is urgent and the task is becoming harder as global emissions continue to rise. The winners and finalists are committed to sustainability for the long-term and provide excellent examples of business and environmental benefits that can be achieved.”

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