We are committed to using electric vehicles, our passenger car fleet is currently 50% electric vehicles, and our new target is to increase this to 90% by the end of 2020.
Meridian continues to calculate and audit our carbon footprint, and we set targets for year on year reductions. We’ve adopted Cisco Jabber video conferencing to cut down on air travel and are changing our vehicle fleet to EVs.
Across our KidsCan, Kākāpō Recovery Programme and Community Funds Meridian gives an estimated $1.5m a year to supporting NZ communities. In addition, our campaigns are specifically created to raise awareness for those we support with strong call to actions to encourage others to donate and support.
Meridian reports on gender balance across the business and specifically leadership roles. We support “Girls with High Vis” to actively encourage and support women into technical fields.
Our impacts on biodiversity are mostly managed through projects funded by Meridian, designed in collaboration with local stakeholders when our consents were originally granted. We also fund additional projects over and above what is described in our resource consents.
Meridian has set an Electric Vehicle (EV) target of 90% for our passenger fleet in 2020 using fully electric cars not hybrids. Each of our main offices is in a modern, energy-efficient building that meets the New Zealand Green Building Council’s 5-star standard.
OUR SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY
“So much of sustainability is a win-win and achievable through collaborating with others. You just need to pick the right things to focus your efforts on, as it will help to reduce costs and create stronger connections to your customers and employees, all of which reap tangible rewards.”
— Alison Howard, Head of Sustainability at Meridian
For us, it’s not enough to be a 100% renewable energy generator - we want to create sustainable solutions in all areas of our business operations too. For example, all of our offices are five-star standard buildings, our car fleet is being electrified, and we use video conferencing to help reduce air travel emissions. We have been carbon accounting since 2008 and know what our carbon footprint is, but are now in the process of setting an internal target date and plan to achieve zero-carbon.
Importantly, we don’t just focus on improving our own practices. Our CEO, Neal Barclay, has made sustainability leadership one of our core objectives, and we’re proud to be recognised as a company that educates others and helps them adopt more sustainable practices.
A long-term objective is to see the New Zealand electricity grid go 100% renewable, and we’re also focussed on educating people about the benefits of electric transportation. This is reflected in our partnerships with electric car-sharing initiatives like Mevo and Yogoo Share; and our own electric car plan – as a customer you get $300 towards charging your car, which we estimate is the cost to charge your car over a year. We are also talking to our large corporate customers about what we have learnt from changing our own fleet to electric; and helping to create a business case we hope will accelerate the appetite for change.
We believe that sustainable businesses are successful businesses (and vice versa), and we’re proud that our people genuinely care about the environment. Some of our best initiatives have come about because of the belief they have in our corporate values, and a company-wide understanding that sustainability and successful business go together.