Embark Speaker Profile – Steve Dixon, Enviro-Mark Solutions

Steve Dixon is GM Strategy and Partnerships, Enviro-Mark Solutions, and will be speaking at the Embark event on 24 July at SKYCITY Auckland. He talks about why it’s important to measure carbon, and what businesses need to think about when they get started. www.embark2019.nz

What will you be talking about at Embark?

So Enviro-Mark Solutions does measuring, monitoring and reduction of carbon. So we’ve worked with hundreds of businesses across New Zealand and many Climate Leaders businesses to support them to set targets. And I’ll be talking about how do you go about doing that.

Primarily, you can’t manage anything without measuring it. That’s our mantra. So we start with how to set a baseline and how to actually begin measuring your carbon. When you’ve done that, you’ll see the spikes, you’ll see the peaks, you’ll see where the opportunities lie to potentially curb. And then when you have that measurement in place, you can then start to think, well, what are the opportunities within our business?

So we’ve had businesses who have done quite a lot on their logistics. So one of our favorite clients is Inzide and they are a carpet tile company and they distribute carpets all over New Zealand.

But instead now of bringing all their carpet tiles to Auckland, to the distribution centre and then sending them out across the country to site, they get them delivered directly to site by ship. That saves them carbon, but it also saves them loads of money.

So my best quote from Inzide is a guy called Steve, who’s the marketing director there who says, “we went looking for carbon and found shitloads of money”. And I believe most of our clients have had that experience because in the business sense, if you’re spending money on carbon, then you’re spending money where you could potentially reduce it. Because carbon is money in all of its forms, you’re spending it on fuel, you’re spending it on energy and you’re spending it on materials and resources, all of which costs you as a business. If you can reduce those, it’s good for your bottom line. But it’s also obviously great for the planet.

What advice do you have for businesses wanting to reduce their emissions?

Look, it’s always a little daunting when you start for the first time. So the first measurement is really important and we as a business provide a key account manager to support you through that process. But any business doing it in any which way, just needs to start. It’s actually not that complex. You just need your invoices, you need to know where you’re spending money because if you follow the money, you’ll find the carbon generally. And then you put it in together in a package and then you just need to look at again what those peaks and troughs of that spending is, where that carbon lies. And go ahead and look at where you can potentially curb those peaks. There is so much low hanging fruit in New Zealand business still, we are very early in the journey in New Zealand and I think most businesses will find fleets that they can readjust easily and painlessly, LED lights that they can put in to replace high energy use bulbs and the like. There are lots of opportunities.

As mentioned before, he logistic space is important but also waste materials. Lots of opportunities to reduce the amount of material you bring in. Therefore reducing the amount of waste you send out. Waste costs you money, but it also generates carbon because it goes into landfill and creates methane. So in general we’ve found actually once you’re on the journey, our businesses on average reduced by 20% in three to five years. Our best businesses are hitting 60, 70% reductions over three to five years. Ok, there’s a concentrated effort to achieve that. But actually I think 20% is easily achievable for any business walking in the door.

Why should businesses attend Embark?

Embark is a great opportunity I think because, there are lots of conferences that you can potentially attend. But one of the things I’m really excited about Embark is that it’s going to be nearly entirely businesses who have committed through the Climate Leaders Coalition to go and do some good stuff. And so everybody there will be searching for answers.

What are you looking forward to most at Embark?

I’m definitely looking forward to meeting lots of businesses at Embark and meeting some new people and obviously catching up with some old friends. But particularly just looking at collaboration opportunities, looking for those cross sectoral opportunities where people might have waste streams or have learnt some stuff, which they can then transfer to others. You know, without competitive issues getting in the way. They can say, look, we did a fleet change out. We did some electrics and some EVs. This is what we found works. And if we can get that sort of conversation happening, everybody goes faster and we really need to go faster.

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