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ANNUAL REPORT 2011-12 environmental choice new zealand

“valuable best practices, exceptionally credible environmental

leadership,

effective policies and procedures.� Global Ecolabelling Network International Auditors, 2012 august 2012


Message from the Chair, Susan Paterson The board of trustees is pleased to commend the positive performance of the label, clearly showing that companies increasingly value sustainability and wish to provide third party independent assurance, and that they are at the ‘Gold’ standard with regards to environmental performance. With our own desire to be financially sustainable, the general manager and his team   have succeeded in expanding the number of new licenses by a record percentage while still complying with the board’s wish to further consolidate the trust's equity position, to ensure we can withstand adverse economic or natural disaster events. Internationally the year has seen affirmation from the Global Ecolabelling Network for the work of our general manager in his fourth consecutive term as elected chair of the 50-nation body. The board is pleased to support him in this leadership role which reflects well on New Zealand and the high regard in which our program is held. A market research survey by Colmar Brunton has the label benchmarked gratifyingly well against the internationally established Energy Star label, and we lead the table for trustworthiness and strength among those who know us. The survey has also provided proof of the influence the label has on purchasing. This survey gives us a useful benchmark against which we can evaluate our marketing efforts, designed to further grow recognition of the label and drive purchasing to those products and services carrying the label. It has been a satisfying year in assisting our 67 licensees (covering 2300 products and services) to proudly prove their environmental credentials, with products and services that carry what is effectively New Zealand’s environmental Olympic gold.

 


WHO Environmental Choice New Zealand is the government’s own ecolabel, operated by the independent NZ Ecolabelling Trust. Established some 20 years ago, the label currently has 38 published criteria covering a wide range of manufacturing and service categories. 67 companies have licenses and the number of companies submitting to the robust examination continues to climb each year.

WHAT New Zealand’s ISO “Type 1” ecolabel is a trustworthy guide to products proven less harmful than others to our planet. Consumers, business buyers and officials don’t have to weigh up the environmental claims for products, because the ecolabel does it thoroughly and independently for them. The planet-and-tick symbol can appear on products only when third-party assessments have objectively proven the manufacturers’ claims, including investigation of the whole lifecycle of component parts, and the breakdown or recycling of the final product.

 

WHERE Among the 2300 products and services licensed to carry the seal, many are applicable to the workplace, but also to the home, schools or business premises. From construction and outfitting through to office equipment and daily consumables, and even the services of the contract cleaner or choice of gym, Environmental Choice products and services help create a better environment throughout New Zealand. Similar schemes operate in some 50 territories and countries.


KNOWLEDGE

We have learned a great deal through

 

the process by looking more closely at what we do as a business and how we interact with the environment and the wider

community and this has been a good thing

Andrew Moss, General Manager, Firth

 


HOW Robust specifications are developed by qualified scientists and engineers using international guidelines and with industry input and public submission. Once finalised, these are published for producers of goods and services to see if they might meet the criteria to be awarded an ECNZ licence. In addition there are procedures for exploration of new specifications. Fees for assessment and annual licensing are based on turnover and costs, and essentially cover the Trust’s investment in label development, operations, communications and ongoing assessment.

 

WHY The survival and liveability of our planet are being compromised by our demands on its resources. The sourcing, manufacturing, use and disposal of the products we make and procure have a significant effect on the sustainability of Planet Earth and its inhabitants. The Environmental Choice label gives buyers, from government agencies and large corporates through to medium and small enterprises and consumers, an ever-expanding choice of environmentally preferable goods – proven, not just claimed. Products and services passing the assessment may have less negative impact on human health and safety.


FITNESS  

The Environmental Choice achievement is a formal acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment by everyone in the company to minimise the effect have on our planet and our immediate environment.

Reece Zontag, CEO, Les Mills

 


A positive year: overview Growth and continuing development will be the legacy of this year of consolidation, in which almost all licensees have retained their commitment to the label, and new applications are equal to the highest ever achieved in the 20-year history of the label. Public trust has been measured and confirmed, promotional activity has been proven “on message”, and the Trust’s operations have received international recognition. Financial outcomes have exceeded expectations in difficult economic conditions. Licenses have increased by 23% in just one year, while additional licenses have been successfully sought by some existing customers. We have lost a very small number of customers either through their inability to comply, or bankruptcy or increased Australian focus. There are currently sixty-seven customers licensed and a further forty-five in process. With over 2300 products licensed and an estimated total financial turnover of licensees in excess of $2.5 billion, there is every indication that the positive trends will continue.

New specifications were delivered this year and a significant number of specifications were reviewed and revised. The label has also expanded its ambit to assess and prove how environmentally better services can be delivered to the business and consumer markets. Criteria for services now include Wool Scouring Services [EC-47-11] and Fitness Centre Services [EC-5212], with a further two in process – Collection & Recycling of Imaging Consumables EC-55-12 and Office Activities. This is in addition to our Cleaning Services criteria [EC-45-09].

Continuing optimisation and tuning of our new, more modern website increased unique visitors by 30% and has improved our visibility to search engines. A trial on-line advertising campaign raised awareness, and work is now on-going to maintain site efficiency.

Above right: During the year, Anne & Bob Quaid, owners of EcoPro Cleaning, were granted the first license for a service delivery.

 


GROWTH  

License growth is on track to continue at

23% in 2012/13.

The estimated aggregate annual turnover of companies engaged with the label has climbed by some 25% in

18 months, and now exceeds $2.5b. There is a growing and valuable marketplace for trade among licensees.

 


ECNZ Licenses Growth 2006‐2012  100 90 10

80 15

70

New Licenses Existing Licences

60 23

50 40

79 13

30 8

20

41

9

10

28

20

11

64

0 2006‐07

2007‐08

2008‐09

2009‐10

2010‐11

2011‐12

Environmental Choice New Zealand  Licensee Growth 2003‐12 120 100 80

45

39

45

In process Licensees

38

60 28 40 13 6

20 0 9

0

2 11

18

22

2003‐4 2004‐5 2005‐6 2006‐7

57 33

64

67

42

2007‐8 2008‐9 2009‐10 2010‐11 2011‐12

Graphs show continuing growth in both the number of licences issued (top) and the number of companies (licensees) which may hold one or more licenses.

 


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LEADERSHIP  

The New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust is a program from which many other Type 1 ecolabelling programs could learn valuable

best practices, given NZET’s exceptionally credible environmental leadership standards, and effective system of policies and procedures. GEN International Auditors, 2012

 


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The Trust remains closely involved with the Global Ecolabelling Network with the General Manager Robin Taylor (below) again being re-elected unopposed as Chair.

The Trust was confident that 5 years after the label’s initial Peer Review under the GENICES scheme [GEN Internationally Coordinated Ecolabelling Scheme] they should request another audit, to ensure the programme was continuing to comply with the requirements of ISO 14020/24. The outcome was affirming and gratifying. This pleasing result reflects the efforts of the team in maintaining the highest standards and ensuring our programme in New Zealand is ‘world class’.

Above right: GEN auditors Katherine Stewart (l) and Ikuku Yoshida (r) flank Tonkin & Taylor’s Marje Russ and Paula Pioch

 

‘The auditors assessed NZ Environmental Trust against all criteria required under the GENICES process, and found very few areas for suggested improvement, and no items requiring immediate corrective actions. The auditors found the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust to be a very well-managed program operating in accordance with the principles of ISO 14024. Further, NZET is remarkably thorough in its establishment of scientific-based criteria and in its auditing protocols. It is the opinion of the auditors that the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust is a program from which many other Type 1 ecolabelling programs could learn valuable best practices, given NZET’s exceptionally credible environmental leadership standards, and effective system of policies and procedures.‘


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INFLUENCE  

The ECNZ logo positively influences

3 in 5 consumers when displayed on a product or brand

Colmar Brunton 2012

 


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Satisfied Customers

We commissioned Colmar Brunton to carry out market research which gave us label awareness data, against which we can benchmark in the future. From a representative sample of over a thousand people, around two-thirds (62%) said they would be more likely to choose a brand that carried the logo of Environmental Choice New Zealand.

A retention rate in excess of 90%, and continuing applications for new products and services, indicate success in meeting our key objectives of satisfying, maintaining and growing the label’s customer base. The number of products currently licensed is over 2300, with further assessments in process.

A business plan was developed and agreed with Ministry for the Environment officials and increased resourcing is being proposed for marketing, still within a very tight budgetary framework.

We also still have interest from a number of manufacturers who are accumulating data related to their products, but have not yet formally applied. They demonstrate potential to drive 2012-13 towards becoming the best year on record for the label’s growth.

Environmental Choice New Zealand  Licensed Products 2003‐2012 2500 2335

2208 2000

1500 1877 1000

1450

500

0

 

195

350

520

2003/4

2004/5

2005/6

750

950

2006/7

2007/8

2008/9

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12


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INNOVATION  

ECNZ is presently engaging actively with 15 licensees or potential licensees in development of new and innovative specifications, revision and

strengthening of specifications to reflect new technology, and expansion of product lines and services

 


15 

Specifications : market driven Our philosophy remains that, where possible, specifications developed are based on world class overseas examples, modified where appropriate to fit the New Zealand context. As the value of gaining an Environmental Choice New Zealand licence is perceived to increase we are experiencing greater interest in, and scrutiny of, new and modified specifications. Consequently, increased time, effort and expenditure are being invested. We continue to pursue a policy of developing specifications in areas where there is a market demand and a viable business case for development, but we also have the mechanism for responding to requests for niche market specifications which would not normally justify the expenditure required to develop them. Any prior conception of costs should not discourage applicants from making an enquiry, even where no specification presently exists or a business is small, as the ongoing investment reflects product turnover. In these cases we may direct applicants to EC-34-08, the standard for Environmental Leadership products. This specification engages the

 

applicant in some of the work required to develop a groundbreaking specification, and, provided they meet the finalised standard, gives them the significant and valuable marketing advantage of being the sole occupant from that commercial sector for a time. The first successful application has been realised already, and we are investigating more such cooperative developments. A number of new specifications have been completed this year. Some of these have attracted considerable industry interest and also submissions which help to ensure the robustness of the process. We are grateful, and yet always watchful to ensure industry involvement does not result in specifications that are too easily achieved, rather than setting standards of ‘environmental excellence’. A number of existing specifications have been updated either with technical changes or subject to a complete review. Our relationship with the New Zealand Green Building Council remains strong and we have specifications which cover almost all of their ‘material’ requirements.


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TRUST  

1 in 2 people aware of ECNZ trust the endorsement (second only to Energy Star)

Colmar Brunton 2012

 


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Financial Health The year-end accounts show a turnover of $1,032,621 with expenses of $903,197 giving a surplus of $129,424. The June accounts show a surplus of $5,479. Trust Equity has risen to $374,841. These results represent a responsible and well-controlled performance from the Trust and are an accurate reflection of its sound financial position and stewardship.

International Comparisons : heads high! A series of simplified international comparisons of several of our specifications has been developed and they are on our website. They tend to show just how comprehensive and meaningful our New Zealand standards are in world terms. This process is continuing.

 

Brochures A template product brochure outlining products currently licensed for a company, and the criteria with which they have been required to comply, has been developed. These brochures can be developed for customers on request [many use them as sales aids] and are displayed on our website.


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STRENGTH  

Among those surveyed (962) who are aware of the respective environmental labels, Environmental Choice is an

outstanding leader in perception of its strength as an environmental guarantee (62% higher than next-rated Energy Star).

Colmar Brunton 2012

 


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Marketing We have continued to use both PR and advertising, maximising business communication especially, as the great majority of licensees are “B2B” (business to business) rather than purely “consumer”. Negotiation of economically realistic, licensee-cooperative campaigns has resulted in much greater leverage against their ECNZ investment for those who have “bought in”. We have also included consumer media and the concept will continue to be expanded. Greater uptake of these opportunities would increase value for all who participate. We have introduced a web-based newsletter to enable timely and easily digestible communication, and its frequency and scope will be increased if licensees volunteer more environmental and product news. The new website has been developed with a more up-to-date look, and it can be updated inhouse rather than externally. New areas of media exposure are continually investigated, however our prime belief is that the seal is a marketing tool for individual companies themselves to use, adding value to their own products and services. We do offer assistance in this and actively promote industry sectors where newsworthy. Our

 

marketing support has even extended to re-writing licensee television and radio commercials to emphasise ECNZ status. New multimedia initiatives are in progress, pending budget approvals for the year ahead. The true worth of any proposed marketing expenditure is tested stringently, to avoid creating unnecessary pressure on license fees. With the increase in licensees there has been an increasing role in protecting the integrity of the label and ensuring it is used correctly particularly on the web. This has involved liaison with the Commerce Commission which issued a strong warning to a company making false claims. In summary, our primary marketing objectives are: •

continue to strengthen the mana and position of the label, adding value

increase the licensee base in number and diversity, adding weight, relevance and visibility


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OUTREACH  

From a business development pointof-view Environmental Choice is absolutely

necessary – it is respected not only in New Zealand but also outside.

Theo Huisman, Ege Carpets

 


21 

INTERNATIONAL sharing, harmonious international cooperation and more effective modern communication among members”. According to the Canadian-based secretariat administrator, Katherine Stewart, “New Zealand punches well beyond its weight through Robin Taylor’s contribution on the international stage.” During the year, at no cost to the label, ECNZ communications advisor Michael Hooper accepted an invitation from the GEN Annual Conference in Chinese Taipei to support the GEN Chair by delivering a presentation on environmental marketing. He also conducted a workshop session. Both were well received and raised the profile of ECNZ and its ability to maximise communication and GENICES [GEN Internationally marketing within a very small budget. Coordinated Ecolabelling Scheme] – a Peer Review was successfully GEN: Going Global completed on the Singapore, Russian, South Korean and Israeli Ecolabelling The New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust's programmes and other assessments General Manager was again elected are planned for China[CEC], Japan unanimously to Chair the Global and Brazilian programmes in 2012 with Ecolabelling Network (GEN) Board at further indications of interest from the AGM for 2011/12. Board members Malaysia and Germany. The New are elected each year and the current Zealand programme was reassessed at board consists of members from New their own request. Zealand, Japan, Thailand, USA, Scandinavia and Germany. “The key priorities for the Board this The 2011 AGM was held in Chinese Taipei. This was hosted by Green Mark and the Environmental Protection Agency of Chinese Taipei. The GEN secretariat congratulated Robin Taylor on his “wisdom, leadership, and ongoing commitment to knowledgeMichael Hooper presents at GEN AGM. Robin Taylor on international panel.

 

year are implementing outreach plans to raise the profile of GEN and hence type 1 ecolabelling,” says Robin Taylor. “In addition we are working with the University of Lund in Sweden to develop a method of evaluating Ecolabelling schemes.”


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GLOBAL

Environmental Choice is an active member   of the respected Global Ecolabelling Network and Robin Taylor has been unanimously elected Chair for his fourth term steering the group. An international study for the UK government* judged specifications of the New Zealand label in the world’s

top three for best practice.

 

*Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, March 2008.

 


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Worldwide Mutual Recognition Agreements [MRAs] Export-oriented licensees enjoy a valuable fillip through these relationships. They give manufacturers the opportunity to obtain an ecolabel in other countries with the minimum of procedural delays and costs. In several Asian countries, an ecolabel is accepted as an indication of sustainable manufacturing practices. In fact, it is now almost essential in dealing with most Governments’ purchasing initiatives. We currently have fourteen MRAs [Japan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, South Korea, China[CEC], Czech Republic, USA, Canada, Hong Kong ,Ukraine, Russia, Singapore, Israel and Nordic Swan] in operation. Two are unilateral [Japan & China] both of which will complete GENICES this year and the rest multilateral.

  The lubrication of trade opportunities occurs because all parties to this multilateral agreement undertake to "Recognise and accept the other party’s operational system and procedures as transparent, open and credible". They ALSO agree: "If comparable product categories exist and the corresponding requirements are sufficiently similar, equivalency and full mutual recognition can be accepted [subject to any local legal requirements] without any further verification testing".

The GENICES peer review process is accelerating, and it enables the Trust to The general manager would be prioritise targets for development of further beneficial relationships which will pleased to discuss the opportunities this might raise for New Zealand licensees. be useful for our members. GEN members have agreed that all organisations that complete the peer review satisfactorily will become part of a multilateral agreement for mutual recognition where appropriate. At the recent AGM it was also agreed that all new members will be required to complete the process within two years.

Robin Taylor with Taiwan Deputy Minister Chang

 

Given limited resources, a quality control process has been put in place whereby each organisation signs an annual declaration that they continue to comply with GENICES requirements. The GEN Board is encouraging a second ‘audit’ after five years and this has so far been completed by Canada and New Zealand.


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THE NEW NORM  

“We don’t believe in charging a ‘green premium’. The more companies have the ECNZ seal, the more it will become the norm.”

Ian Jemmett, Owner, The Service Company (CARE4 products)

 


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Staffing The Trust is capably managed by the General Manager and Executive Assistant and is resourced by a suitable network of independent contractors where appropriate: [accounting, auditors, assessments, specification development, IT, technical advice, website maintenance and marketing communications].

Susan has a strong interest in the environmental and education areas as a past Board Member of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (1996-2000) and St Cuthbert's College (1997-2007). Deputy Chair

Trustees Chair

Richard Tong MSc (Hons.) is Managing Director of Tong & Associates Ltd, an environmental consultancy he established in 1984. Richard also holds postgraduate qualifications in public administration, local government and tertiary teaching. He served on the Susan Paterson, BPharm, MBA Applied Science Advisory Committee (London), has a broad of AUT, 1996-2010. Richard has been pharmaceutical and management associated with many of the major background, from a range of developments in recycling in this consulting and management positions country and overseas since throughout New Zealand and establishing the award winning internationally. She brings over fifteen Devonport Recycling Scheme in years expertise in governance and is 1977. In addition to consulting work currently a member of a number of for government and corporate clients, Boards including Goodman Property Richard has developed a Trust, Abano Healthcare Ltd, Airways comprehensive environmental Corporation, Les Mills NZ Ltd, Housing auditing package and lectured New Zealand Corp, the Electricity widely on environmental topics. In Authority and a former Director 2000 he co-authored, with Geoffrey several companies including Cox, the introductory textbook, Clean Transpower NZ Ltd and Ports of and Green? The New Zealand Auckland. She is also Chair of the Environment and has been Auckland Hockey Association. environmental adviser for other publications.

 


26 

VALUE  

Green business will increasingly become

better business – more innovative, more competitive and more profitable.

Greening NZ’s Growth (Dec 2011, Advisory Group, Ministry of Economic Development)

 


27 

Robert Vale MA, Dip. Arch., PhD is a Professorial Research Fellow in the School of Architecture at Victoria University Wellington and previously worked as a senior scientist with the Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. His work centres on the sustainability of the built environment, and he has designed several successful zero energy and autonomous buildings in the UK and New Zealand. He is a holder of the United Nations Global 500 Award for Environmental Achievement, and has written several books on environmental design, including The Autonomous House (1975), Green Architecture (1990) and Time to Eat the Dog? (2009). He is currently running a three year MBIE funded research project to determine the form of ecologically sustainable communities in New Zealand.

 

Barbara Glenie BSc has been the editor of a number of professional and trade publications including Landscape New Zealand, Planning Quarterly, Concrete Construction, and Growing Today. She brings a community focus having represented the public on a number of professional and public entities. Currently she is a member of the Nursing Council of New Zealand’s Competence Review Panel. She has a strong governance background having been a former: Standards New Zealand Council Member, Complaints Review Tribunal member, National President of the National Council of Women, chair of the regional ethics committee.


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UNIQUE

“The robustness of the Environmental Choice programme sets it apart from other sustainability endorsements. The third party assessment and auditing

 

delivers an independent verification which is lacking in a number of other

schemes, and is positively endorsed by specifiers who understand the scheme.”  Mark Jury, Market Manager - Residential, Winstone Wallboards Ltd, Licensee Representative, on Trust Board

 


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Michael Field is a Sustainability Practitioner, with over 13 years experience, with both in-house Sustainability Manager roles and consultancy, across a wide range of industry sectors. He is regarded as one of the leaders in this subject, with over 30 published papers and articles and received the ‘Sustainability Champion’ awards and recognised as one of the top ten corporate sustainability practitioners in the world. Since arriving in New Zealand, Michael was one of the founders of the New Zealand Green Building Council, wrote the sustainable procurement guidelines for the RWC2011, is a regular conference speaker and a guest expert lecturer at both Massey and Waikato Universities and was recently recognised by Element Magazine as New Zealand’s leading Corporate Sustainability practitioner.

 

Mark Jury is the current licensee representative,. Mark is residential market manager for Winstone Wallboards, a division of Fletcher Building. He is responsible for the company's sustainability marketing communications.

Produced for the NZ Ecolabelling Trust by Spotlight Creative Media Works. Enquiries to Michael Hooper. Email: spotlightmedia ”at” clear.net.nz or contact robin “at” enviro-choice.org.nz. www.environmentalchoice.org.nz


Addendum Specification Reviews The following reviews have either been completed or are in the process of completion. EC-04-11 Wool and Wool-rich Pile Carpets - complete Significant review of specification EC-06 -11 - Recycled Plastic Products – complete Significant review of specification EC-31-06 – Textiles, Skins and Leather – complete Significant review of specification EC-35-11 Commercial & Institutional Cleaners – complete Minor change EC-33-11 Synthetic Carpets- in process Significant review of specification EC-07-09 Paints –in process Significant review of specification EC-10/1113/26 Paper Products - in process Significant review of specification

New Specifications The following new specifications were completed or are in the in process of completion during the year:

EC-47-11 – Wool Scouring Services – complete EC-53-11 – Chemicals for use in ECNZ Products – complete EC-52-12 - Fitness Centre Services – in process EC-55-12 – Collection & Recycling Services for Imaging Consumables – in process [ex EC-34-08] EC-45-12 – Office Services – in process EC-52-11 – Ceramic Tiles – in process


Environmental Choice Annual Report 2012