Better World sustainability programme
Terms like 'corporate responsibility' and 'sustainable business' are catch-cries of the current millennium, but what do they actually mean?
At HealthPost, we've been thinking about what these terms mean to us. Below are some of the ways in which we're addressing the ethical challenges of doing business in the 21st century. Every one of our customers has contributed to making these positive steps possible, and we always welcome your feedback. Those of you who've nominated the HealthPost Environmental Fund as part of our Donation Programme may be especially interested in how we're putting that dollar to good use.
For some time now, we've been calculating and cancelling our carbon emissions. We've also applied common sense and planted an additional 4600 trees in our local region. At HealthPost we believe that the wellness of the individual is always connected to the health of the natural environment. Here are some of the ways in which we’re currently putting that belief into action.
HealthPost goes solar!
Always on the lookout for new ways to minimise our environmental impact, we have now installed 72 photovoltaic panels on the roof of our premises. Check out the ‘Scoop’ here.
Even on cloudy days we’re creating our own power. As of December 2012 these panels are producing 105% of our electricity needs, which means we can also feed power back into the grid!
Global Thinking: Offsetting our Carbon
At HealthPost we are committed to accurately measuring our carbon footprint, reducing and off-setting the carbon emissions produced by our parcel deliveries and daily operations, and minimising our impact on the environment wherever possible.
Calculating carbon, we've discovered, is a reasonably complex business. To be sure that we're calculating our carbon emissions correctly, and that we are aligned with International Standards (ISO 14064-1), we've employed the help of carbon specialists, Catalyst R&D Ltd. In the form of the ACE calculator, Catalyst have provided us with a vital tool for measuring our own performance, enabling us to make comparisons from month to month, year to year, and thus set goals for improvement. Below is our most recent emissions profile (Emissions - tCo2e - 2011 -2012):
Monitoring our emissions has prompted us to make small but significant changes to our operations. Almost all of our rubbish is recycled, right down to the compost scraps which are taken home by staff to feed chickens or pigs. We produce a very small amount of landfill for a business of our size (around two standard wheelie bins per week). Electricity and fuel usage are clearly our biggies: public transport isn't available in our rural location and staff travel up to half an hour to work, though most carpool in what is fondly known as ‘The HealthPost Bus’. Still more significant, of course, is the fuel involved in delivering parcels to our customers around New Zealand and beyond (although the fuel saved by people shopping online isn't entered into our equations). This is hard for us to reduce due to the nature of our business, but we make sure that the courier van is chockfull when it leaves our premises! We've been generous in all of our calculations, taking responsibility not only for our own carbon but for that of smaller businesses in our area who may be sharing the courier but who don’t have the means to offset their own emissions.
HealthPost offset its carbon emissions initially using credits from the Te Apiti Wind Farm in the Manawatu Gorge, the first wind farm in New Zealand to supply electricity directly into the national grid. Te Apiti generates electricity for up to 45,000 average homes with no harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2015 HealthPost has offset its carbon footprint by purchasing credits produced by the Hinewai Reserve on Banks Peninsular. This 1000 hectare re-vegetation project is protected from browsing animals and pests and registered under the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative.
Please see below for the latest offset certificates.
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Local Action: HealthPost Tree Planting
One day each year since 2010, HealthPost has swapped phones and packing tape for spades and wheelbarrows to go and plant trees around Golden Bay. Locations include Milnthorpe Park, Motupipi sand spit, Mangarakau Swamp and Paynes Ford.
Our annual tree planting is a highlight on the HealthPost calendar, and our appreciation goes out to our great team who are always ready and willing to get their hands dirty! And of course a huge thanks to our customers for supporting sustainable business.