Q&A: Why we’re committed to regenerating nature in our backyard

Regenerating nature is at the heart of HealthPost’s vision, and our Zero Carbon certification with Ekos guides us to do this in the most impactful way.

We chatted to Sustainability Lead, Lucy Butler, who shares why we’ve made the conscious choice to invest in the regeneration of local native forests in Aotearoa. She tells us what’s ahead for reducing and offsetting our carbon footprint, and what consumers – and businesses who care for our planet – can do to make a difference.

Hi Lucy, please tell us how HealthPost measures its carbon footprint?

To achieve Zero Carbon Business Operations certification with Ekos, we carefully measure our carbon footprint and offset 100% of direct and indirect emissions – this includes all emissions arising from our business operations and parcel deliveries. HealthPost’s total Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the 2021 financial year were 885.61 tonnes of CO2e.

Our major emissions areas for FY21 were:

  • 82% Upstream freight emissions.

  • 11% Fuel and Energy related emissions.

All other emissions categories are 2% or less of our total footprint.

How are HealthPost’s carbon emissions offset?

We offset our carbon emissions by purchasing and retiring New Zealand Carbon Units (NZUs) produced by native forest projects in Te Tauihu (top of the south). For FY21 our footprint was offset through the Kern Creek Forest Conservation Project in Maruia, and HealthPost’s own carbon forest in Mohua Golden Bay. These offsets are retired in the New Zealand Carbon Register. The native forests of Aotearoa are relatively slow growing but can continue to expand their capacity to store carbon for centuries.

Additionally, we’ll continue to plant 1500+ native trees every year with the HealthPost Nature Trust, above and beyond our official offsetting.

Looking ahead, how does HealthPost plan to offset its carbon emissions in the future?

For our FY22 carbon emissions and beyond we plan to purchase and retire NZUs (Government-issued carbon units) from Kahiwi Carbon Farm on Arapaoa Island in the Marlborough Sounds. This is a project of regenerating native bush adjacent to Long Island where Pakahā chicks are sourced for translocation to the Wharariki Ecosanctuary so supporting biodiversity there helps with our HealthPost Nature Trust efforts to regenerate nature here in Mohua Golden Bay. Biodiversity loss and climate change are inextricably linked and so we choose to take climate action by supporting indigenous forest projects that create habitat for native flora and fauna.

We’re also really excited to be exploring Blue Carbon for climate actionin our local region – at the top of the South Island. Golden Bay has as estimated 25% of the total seagrass meadowsin Aotearoa, so we’re supporting the Tasman Environmental Trust’s ‘Core & Restore’ project to explore this area’s carbon storage potential. You can learn more about our blue carbon efforts here.

What should conscious consumers look out for to help reduce their carbon footprint when shopping with us?

Want to browse our range by your lifestyle choices and personal needs? Shop Your Way allows you to filter by values most important to you – including our carbon neutral brands.You can also discover brands that share your ethical values through Mindful Brands – which celebrates brands leading the way in the areas of Social Responsibility, Transparency, Eco Packaging, and Environmental Sustainability.

Shopping with us helps create positive change as we actively work to influence greater carbon-accountability in our supply chain. Our strict range standards and comprehensive, transparent product information helps our customers to shop mindfully, making the most conscious use of precious resources.

What are three lessons learned through the Zero Carbon certification process with Ekos?

  1. Partnerships are a must for meaningful climate impact – less than 1% of our footprint comes from scope 1 emissions that we can directly influence. Supply chain influence is crucial and we have to work collaboratively, including through networks like the Sustainable Business Network and Businesses for Climate Action,where we can connect with like-minded businesses on the challenges e.g. getting greener freight options for our Nelson-Tasman region.

  2. Carbon accountancy is a specialist business– It took two years of working with Ekos to get an accurate freight calculation methodology for our business – which is now peer reviewed as setting the new best practice standard in Aotearoa. Getting the most accurate and complete carbon data is worth investing in so you can confidently factor carbon into business decision-making.

  3. Be in it for the long haul– Each successive year we build out our data capture and create a fuller picture of our carbon footprint. We also build relationships with supply partners around carbon through successive conversations – for us to account for our indirect emissions, we need our supply partners to be measuring their own footprints. These conversations drive shared responsibility and positive change. It’s a work-in-progress!

What has becoming Zero Carbon certified meant for HealthPost?

Being Zero Carbon communicates in an independently verified way to our customers, team, brand partners and community that we are taking responsibility for our climate impact, which is vital to achieving our vision of having a lasting, positive impact on the wellbeing of people and the planet.Our certification has created opportunities to invest in local native forest projects and to connect with other like minded businesses who are taking their climate impact seriously. Working with the experts at Ekos has enabled us to develop a much deeper understanding of our carbon emissions and the ways we can make a difference in this constantly evolving and critically important area.

What's one piece of advice to share with other businesses starting out on their carbon journey?

This area can feel complex and overwhelming, so we recommend creating opportunities for hands-on local action (like planting trees!) to make your climate impact tangible for your team and wider community. It’s important to bring the mahi to life for everyone involved, and to empower people with the ability to make a difference directly. You want your team to be thinking in terms of climate impact, whether they are procuring IT equipmentor composting teabags in the lunchroom – every action counts.


Discover our Zero Carbon journey →   

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