Kiwi carbon footprint measurement company carboNZero Holdings has joined an elite club.
The Carbon Disclosure Project is a global vehicle for a bloc of 551 banks and investment funds, which hold US$71 trillion (NZ$87t) in assets, to make the world’s largest companies measure and manage their environmental impact, including greenhouse gas emissions, water and energy use.
The rationale being investors can use the pooled information to better manage investments against the risk of companies being affected by changes in legislation or consumer backlash due to irresponsible carbon footprints.
The project, which is non-profit and independent, requests reports of the emissions performance from more than 3700 companies worldwide on behalf of its investors and rates the companies on their footprint.
It scores companies on the thoroughness of its emissions reporting and has a separate score for the improvement of its carbon footprint; both are used to benchmark the companies. Companies receive higher scores for getting their reports verified, however it is not compulsory.
The emissions project has approved 17 emissions measurement systems to be used to independently verify organisations’ carbon reporting and, as of Monday, carboNZero’s Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (Cemars) became one of them.
CarboNZero Holdings marketing manager Chris Rook said the stringent process took six months and Cemars’ approval would give the carboNZero a higher profile overseas.
“Definitely, our view point is to have a global presence and we’re looking to expand that further.”
Cemars was developed by carboNZero as an alternative for carbon neutrality, so businesses could minimise their environmental effects without having to buy offsets to pay for their carbon usage. CarboNZero accreditations use the same system, but businesses pay for carbon credits to offset their footprint.
CarboNZero was created by Government-owned Landcare Research at Lincoln University in 2001. In July, it was spun out into a subsidiary company to grow more rapidly.
CarboNZero would not say how much it made in its latest financial year, however in Landcare’s 2010-11 annual report, it said the business increased its revenue by almost 30 per cent and passed 500 certifications since its inception.
The only readily available information about the financial performance of the company was in Landcare Research’s response to a 2008-09 Parliamentary Select Committee for Education and Science.
In it, it says carboNZero’s expected revenue for the following year would be $2.27 million, with earnings before interest and taxes expected to be $35,000.
The Cemars certification was released in July 2008, however its revenues were not disclosed to the select committee due to commercial confidentiality agreements with overseas business partners.
– © Fairfax NZ News