2021 Programme

Our 2021 industry advisors assisted with the development of the programme below.


2 December 2021




Registration and coffee



Welcome from the MC 

Gerri WardDirector, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY






Leaders' panel – action is the key

The increasing use of mandated drivers for emissions reduction action is driving compliance and disclosure. So how do you remove the roadblocks and leverage the social, financial and legislative drivers to keep moving forward with your emissions reduction efforts? Our panel will work through the following challenges:

  • Getting the board onboard
  • Pacing the plan
  • Building the dream team
  • Opportunities derived from managing your climate risk
  • The power of procurement

David Benattar – Chief Sustainability Officer, The Warehouse Group (online)
Wendy McGuinness – Chief Executive, McGuinness Institute
Abby FooteIndependent Director (Freightways, Sanford, Z Energy)
Nick Traber – Chief Executive Concrete, Fletcher Building (online)

Gerri WardDirector, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY



Education for the Net Zero transition

Powering the Net Zero future sets ambitious scopes and a significant hurdle to be tackled for all sectors. Education has a crucial role in focusing on skill challenges, scaling up capacity, and developing a high-quality curriculum for a highly-skilled green technology workforce. This discussion shares the visions and practices in the employment pathway.

Dr Ellie Khaghani – Energy Lead/Tutor for Diploma in Engineering – Mechanical, Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT)



GIDI update 

The Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund is a partnership between Government and business to accelerate the decarbonisation of industrial process heat and contribute to the COVID-19 recovery by stimulating the domestic economy and supporting employment. It’s designed to provide crucial financial support to business and industry to help with the up-front capital costs of switching from fossil fuels to cleaner electricity and biomass options. The Fund is administered by EECA (The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) and is a key part of accelerating action on the NZ Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan.

Since its inception in November 2020, a total of 39 project recipients received $56.5m in co-funding to help their business transition away from fossil fuels and matched this with $54.5M of their own funding.  Together, the first two rounds of the GIDI Fund have supported projects that will deliver lifetime emissions cuts of 6.6 million tonnes. This equates to 14-18 percent of the gross long-lived emission reductions required from the Climate Commission’s first carbon budget for the period 2022-2025. They have combined emissions savings the equivalent of taking 108,500 cars off the road.

GIDI has helped to accelerate action across NZ businesses. Learn how emissions are being curbed deeper and faster to adapt to a new era of climate impacts.

Anna ShawManager Business Portfolio, GIDI Contestable Fund - Investment and Engagement, EECA (online)



Morning tea and networking







Pushing the technology – lessons from adoption

Textile rental service provider Alsco NZ has a fleet of 350 vehicles that account for 20% of its emissions. It has taken a proactive approach to achieve its goal of converting one third of this fleet to electric by 2030.

Part of this approach has been to introduce the first intercity heavy EV freighter in New Zealand. So, what has been learned by introducing such a vehicle, what’s different about its operation, and how will that affect future procurement and deployment for the rest of the fleet?

Gavin SmithBusiness and Product Development Manager, Alsco NZ (online)

Leveraging renewable geothermal steam

Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company dedicated to improving our collective well-being using a variety of products and services. Its local manufacturing facility in Kawerau employs 200+ people and is the only tissue manufacturing facility in the country. The Kawerau site has been proactively reducing its carbon emissions for many years now. In 2010, it decommissioned two natural gas fired steam boilers and started using locally sourced renewable geothermal steam instead, resulting in a carbon emissions reduction of 20,000 tCO2e/yr.

In a continuation of this decarbonisation journey, the organisation was successful in securing Round 2 GIDI funding to modify one of its Kawerau site paper machines to use renewable geothermal steam instead of natural gas. This project is directly aligned with the Essity vision to contribute to a sustainable and circular society and provide their customers with a better choice.

The new project highlights how Essity understands it is creating value for customers while balancing capital expenditure to integrate new technology with locally available geothermal steam.

Thinus MeyerOperations Engineer, Essity Australasia



Data drives fleet optimisation

Using an evidence-based data-driven approach fleet operators can discover key insights in their current utilisation. These insights can reveal opportunities to right-size and consequently lower overall fleet emissions. Following on from this full or partial fleet electrification can deliver significant emissions reduction. Learn what’s involved in following a structured process that addresses:

  • Fleet composition and optimisation review
  • Potential to divest existing vehicles
  • Replacement with Battery Electric
  • Replacement recommendations based on total cost of ownership
  • Benefits of real-time asset management

Jack Gordon-CrosbyManaging Director, OptiFleet

Emissions reduction at scale to secure the carbon opportunity

Aiming for global leadership in sustainable food production requires commitment at all levels and an effective strategy. The intention to halve coal use in the next two years and to get out of coal by 2030 is part of a much broader sustainability strategy that also includes decarbonisation activity across multiple sites for this organisation. Learn about the steps taken so far and the size of the prize for both the environment and short- and long-term market success of New Zealand’s leading processor, marketer and exporter of premium quality lamb, beef and venison. Covering:

  • Overall strategy and journey towards emissions reduction
  • Critical decision and influence points for the actions to date across multiple sites
  • Fossil fuel switching details
  • Next steps

Matt HarcombeSenior Advisor Sustainability, Silver Fern Farms



Kāinga Ora Homes and Communities – electrifying fleet across a national portfolio 

Kāinga Ora has one of the largest Government fleets, the diverse role of our organisation necessitates varied travel requirements throughout New Zealand. To transition towards more sustainable ways of travel and contribute to the broader government target of carbon neutrality by 2025 it is critical we understand and develop the necessary systems, processes and transition support. This short presentation will outline the initial steps Kāinga Ora has taken towards fleet electrification and some lessons learnt along the way, as well as outline briefly future opportunities for emissions reductions through fleet optimisation.

Genevieve WilsonFleet Electrification Lead, Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities






Securing green investment – it's all about the execution

Securing green or any other investment requires clear disclosure of risks against returns. This is more challenging where proposed returns are harder to quantify, such as social and environmental measures. This deep dive into a specific investment case will detail the steps and considerations that delivered a successful outcome.

Craig Weise – Chief Executive, New Zealand Green Investment Finance
Derek Nind – Chief Executive, CentrePort



Climate risk disclosure legislation update

Update on incoming (late 2021) mandatory climate change risk disclosure legislation requiring large listed issuers, banks, fund managers, and insurers to issue annual reports against a new climate risk reporting standard. What do organisations need to do to be ready to report on climate risk? What is the role for the CFO, GC and CRO? What are the expectations on NZ reporting entities against global trends? What questions should boards and management be asking? What does good practice look like?

Nicola Swan – Partner, Dispute Resolution and Climate Risk, Chapman Tripp



Networking Lunch







A city council inspiring action

City, district and regional authorities are well-positioned to be leaders within their communities through taking steps to reduce their own emissions. Local authorities also have the ability to influence emissions reduction at a community level. Learn about the approach and results being achieved by a council responsible for New Zealand’s sixth most populous city.

Jörn ScherzerHead of Climate and Waste, Hutt City Council

Energy transition accelerator

EECA’s ETA programme was launched to enable NZ’s largest energy users – those that emit more than 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum - to take a leading role in New Zealand’s low carbon future.  An expert helps to provide an initial ETA Opportunities Assessment, that identifies options for reducing energy-related emissions and saving energy costs in the short- and long-term. The result is a strategic roadmap to reduce energy-related emissions, covering everything from optimising existing assets, evaluating the introduction of innovative technologies, through to replacing end-of–life fossil-fuelled infrastructure with sustainable fuel options.

Alliance Group is New Zealand's only 100% farmer owned red meat co-operative producing the finest quality free-range grass-fed natural lamb, beef and venison, who have been through the ETA programme. The ETA provided Alliance a sound process to follow and identified where they needed expert help. Clearly the programme helped, with Alliance currently working through some substantial emission reduction projects thank to successful GIDI round one and two funding.

Doyle Richardson ­– Group Environmental Manager, Alliance Group (online)



How to reduce your embedded carbon

About half the carbon emissions from building construction are attributed to embodied carbon. The manufacturing process, source and delivery to site of different building material affects the embodied value considerably.

Understanding the “loading” of these different materials can help designers, engineers and funders to make better choices regarding long term emissions. Consulting and service provider thinkstep-anz has been at the forefront of sustainable services to the built environment for some time and shares the lessons it has learned to help reduce embodied carbon.

Barbara Nebel CEO, thinkstep-anz

Climate Action Toolbox

The Climate Action Toolbox is a free, easy-to-use online tool that shows you how to reduce emissions. The toolbox identifies priority action areas based on your business type and core activities. It provides tailored advice and support that includes:

  • Step-by-step guides for reducing emissions
  • A personalised action plan that you can review and update
  • Links to useful tools, resources and information
  • Inspirational stories about businesses already taking climate action

While the toolbox was developed for SME’s and those organisations with under 50 FTE’s, larger organisations have been using this tool to educate and encourage their suppliers into action.

Phil JonesProgramme Manager – Climate, Sustainable Business Network (online)





Toitū Carbon Assess

Toitū carbon assess is a quick and easy carbon footprint assessment tool used by SMEs to measure their emissions. It is also adopted by larger stakeholders who wish to understand their value chain climate change impacts. ​Based on operational activities, Toitū carbon assess emissions data can be shared with stakeholders for them to identify and engage value chain or sector carbon emission reduction actions. Discover how Trust Waikato uses Toitū carbon assess to easily aggregate their value chain data and collaborate on sector emissions reduction opportunities.

Karen TipperHead of Client Delivery, Toitū Envirocare
Dennis TurtonChief Executive, Trust Waikato






Clean energy systems for more resilient communities

Technology developments in the design and operation of sustainable microgrid systems – appropriate to supply the full range of clean energy services for communities – will be discussed using case studies from around the world and in Aotearoa–New Zealand. Apart from a low carbon footprint, these systems also address other resiliency metrics, especially cost and independency, which, increasingly, make them attractive for the low carbon transition.

Alan Brent  – Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems, Victoria University of Wellington



Afternoon break and refreshments



Fuel switching – The big picture

Business case scenarios for a fuel switch will differ depending if they are modelled from an organisational or ecosystem perspective. Aside from the capex and connection considerations, how can you ensure long term security of supply and stable fuel prices? This guided forum will navigate the work being done to “enable” switching to sustainable lower emission fuel sources.

Richard HobbsGeneral Manager Strategy, Transpower (online)
Angela OgierAssociate Director | Infrastructure Advisory, EY (online)
Alzbeta BouskovaGeneral Manager, Ecogas (online)
Grant Smith – Director, Bioenergy Association of New Zealand

Jeff SmitDirector, GM Business Development & Strategy, DETA Consulting (online)



IoT energy management savings

Energy solutions business Simply Energy is bringing a smart plug load Management system, Sapient, to New Zealand to support customers reduce energy waste from their plugged-in devices. The system is simple to install and collects live power consumption data from anything that is plugged into it. The software learns the building and then, through AI algorithms, makes smart suggestions to optimise office equipment. Simply Energy have been trialling Sapient in its offices, ahead of piloting with customers. Aside from ‘Fridgegate’ they have some impressive savings to report.
James CarberryHead of Sustainable Opportunities, Simply Energy





Pushing the limits of climate action

The new Toitū climate positive certification is raising the bar. This programme pushes climate leaders beyond neutrality to make a positive impact on society, on top of taking meaningful science-led action to decarbonise. Toitū provides a framework built on international standards that set the ultimate in best practice with clear objective criteria for success and a verifiable and comparable certification. Progress is continual – there is no ‘done’. Climate Positive is designed for those climate leaders, big or small, who always strive to do more.

Karen TipperHead of Client Delivery, Toitū Envirocare
Jemma Whiten – Global Marketing, Sustainability and Customer Director, Emma Lewisham (pre-recorded)



Next steps – action over intent

Having intent is admirable, but action is actually what’s required to effect emissions reduction. Reflecting on the drivers for action that are cascading down from the top 200 companies, what’s your action plan for 2023?

Gerri WardDirector, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY



Close and end of the Workshop