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Role of business

​Delivering on Auckland’s climate commitments will require the involvement of all businesses.

Many businesses are already making the move towards a more efficient and sustainable way of working.

It is critical that all businesses – small, medium and large – transition to lower carbon, more climate resilient operating models.

A person standing outside a fruits and vegetables store.

Together Auckland businesses can help move us towards a more sustainable future.

Climate Leaders Coalition

Over 115 New Zealand businesses have signed up to New Zealand’s Climate Leaders Coalition, with members committing to:

  • contribute towards carbon neutrality by 2050
  • disclose their climate risks
  • support their suppliers and people to reduce their emissions.

Movements like this are gaining momentum across New Zealand, with an increasing number of businesses choosing to respond to climate change as a long-term business investment.

As new technologies emerge and economic shifts occur, more than ever, businesses will need to ensure they are prepared for a zero-carbon future.

More than economy

Although the economy provides a focus for business action on climate, it is critical that businesses also recognise their role across the other climate priority areas, including:

  • transport – through organisational fleets, staff travel and freight movements
  • built environment – as owners and tenants of commercial, industrial and retail property
  • food – both as producers and consumers within the food system
  • energy and industry – considering industrial emissions, process heat and broader energy use.

There are also several broad areas where all businesses can take action to support the plan’s delivery:

  • measuring and reducing operational carbon emissions
  • managing climate risks
  • embedding regenerative and distributive approaches
  • enabling staff.

Measuring and reducing operational carbon emissions

Unless businesses take action, we cannot meet our climate goals.

Businesses can support by measuring their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and setting reduction targets that support our goal of a 50 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

Businesses should consider direct emissions as well as supply chain emissions.

Check out the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)’s tool to learn more about Auckland’s climate mitigation goals.

Managing climate risks

Business should begin to understand their own climate risks to effectively prepare for the transition to a zero-carbon, climate resilient future.

Businesses need to put the right tools, processes, and governance in place to effectively mitigate climate risk, as well as consider future climate scenarios in supply chain, operational and financial planning.

Check out the Exponential Roadmap's 1.5°C playbook and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TFCFD) Framework for more information on climate risk preparedness for businesses.

In developing this plan, we commissioned NIWA to produce climate projections for the Auckland Region to identify potential risks. Businesses can also use this to identify their climate risks.

Embedding regenerative and distributive approaches

Our current economic model creates waste, inequity and puts a strain on our natural resources.

To address our climate challenges, we need to move away from today’s dominant economic model to one that is regenerative, distributive and thriving.

Businesses can accelerate this shift by embedding circular and regenerative approaches. By creating products and services that are circular by design and maximising the lifecycle of materials, businesses can benefit from a reduction in resource and cost.

Check out the Circular Economy Accelerator's Opportunity for Auckland to see how your business can access the opportunities arising from a regenerative approach or see the Economy priority for more information.

Enabling staff

There are many ways businesses can support their employees in the transition to zero-carbon lifestyles:

  • flexible working options
  • family-friendly policies
  • access to training.

Businesses will be well served by engaging their workforce as they plan for a zero-carbon future. Working with their workforce helps ensure a just transition.

A just transition recognises the need to create decent work and quality jobs while taking measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Early action on a just transition can minimise negative impacts and maximise opportunities.

Check out The B-Team’s Just Transition: A Business Guide (PDF, 5.41 MB) and ATEED’s Future Ready AKL for more information.