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New frontier for businesses committed to climate change action

Published: 18 March 2019

New Zealand’s work to reduce carbon emissions crossed a new frontier last night with the launch of our first-ever gamified carbon calculator – FutureFit.

FutureFit for business is a new sustainability tool with a staff-engagement twist. The aim is to empower staff to reduce their carbon footprints. 

The tool was unveiled as part of the Auckland Climate Symposium, which gathers a range of sustainability advocates and supporters, including signatories of New Zealand’s Climate Leaders Coalition. The Coalition represents 82 of New Zealand’s largest companies and organisations, responsible for over half of New Zealand’s total carbon emissions.

Spark – one of the founding members of this coalition – has signed on as an early adopter of FutureFit for business and will be acting as a business advocate getting other companies onboard.

Spark’s Corporate Relations Lead, Andrew Pirie, sees the initiative as a great use of technology to tackle New Zealand’s climate footprint.

“Spark is taking steps to be a sustainable business leader, reduce our emissions at a company level and, if we are to be truly successful, we need our people to share in this mission.

"Understanding more about how we can reduce our personal carbon footprints is a great way to build awareness among our employees.

"I love the way FutureFit uses technology to empower each of us to take little steps, showing in real time how they can add up to something huge for New Zealand.”

FutureFit for business, co-developed by Auckland Council and Wellington City Council, was trialled last October by Auckland Council staff. The tool has comprehensive reporting functionality, enabling individuals to track and compare their carbon emission reductions.

Auckland Council's test-run alone, with nearly 500 staff, saved an aspirational 62.3 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the course of three weeks. That’s the equivalent of driving from Auckland to Wellington 453 times; or of taking 11 return flights to London.

Inspired by the results, Spark is excited to see the impact they will have and will be making the tool available to their people when it launches later this year.

Simon Upton, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment spoke at the launch and other speakers included Councillor Penny Hulse, Auckland Council and Councillor David Lee, Wellington City Council.

Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair Environment and Community Committee, is passionate about this latest invention in New Zealand’s climate-action toolkit.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to reduce climate-change impact in an innovative way,” she says.

“We developed FutureFit as a key part of Auckland’s Climate Action Plan to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, propelling us toward the city’s commitment to keeping global warming within a 1.5°C boundary and preserving our planet.”

Wellington City Councillor David Lee says “It’s great to help people learn what they can do to reduce their own carbon impact. Wellington City has been measuring greenhouse gases and working to reduce emissions for more than a decade.

"Our current target is 80% by 2050 for both the city and the council but we’re looking to do even better. We are all citizens and stewards of our respective cities. Together we can make a difference.”

FutureFit measures and quantifies individuals’ climate impact based on their daily lifestyle actions across four categories – Transport, Food, Energy and Living. The tool then provides users with everyday actions and challenges tailored to their unique carbon emissions profile. Plus individuals and departments can compete against each other, creating a fun, competitive environment. It also sets a science-based target for New Zealand to work toward, collectively.

Head to www.futurefit.nz to access the tool online.

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