Carbon-conscious businesses

88% of Kiwis want businesses to do more about climate change

As a customer, you’re worth listening to. Tell the businesses you buy from that low emission options are important to you, and give them a thumbs up when you see them take steps to use less energy and generate fewer emissions.

Signs of a carbon conscious company

  1. 1

    Labels and certification

    Genuine certifications show a product, service or business is taking measurable steps to reduce or offset its carbon footprint. Look for them on things you buy or company websites.

    Labels to look for(external link)

  2. 2

    Visible action

    Businesses that make efforts to reduce emissions want their customers to know about it – so if they’re taking action, it should be easy to find out. Look online for sustainability reports, certifications and carbon-reduction initiatives on company websites and social media. See if they use low-emission or electric vehicles, or have switched from a fossil-fuelled process heat system (like a coal boiler) to electricity or wood energy. 

  3. 3

    Verifiable claims

    It’s a great confidence boost if sustainability and carbon reduction claims check out elsewhere. Do a little extra research to see how the company’s reputation stacks up in the media and with other third-party commentators and watchdogs.

How to spot greenwash

“Greenwashing” is when businesses make their products look more environmentally friendly than they really are.

  • Watch the words. ‘Green’, ‘natural’, ‘biodegradable’ and ‘eco-friendly’ don’t mean much – look for official labels instead.
  • Specific claims are better than vague ones. So go for ‘Made from 100% recycled material’ rather than ‘all natural’.
  • Beware the packaging. Imagery like leaves or trees, green colours and cardboard packaging can imply the product is made sustainably.

Check out the businesses doing it in real life

View all Stories

  • Bicycle boom

    3 March 2021

    When Dan Mikkelsen discovered the only way to get cargo e-bikes into Aotearoa was to buy in bulk, Bicycle Junction was born, with a mission to make the Capital a city of cyclists.

    • Low emission transport
  • Crafty business

    3 March 2021

    Proof that reducing emissions from food waste can be delicious. Citizen takes some of the 29 million loaves of bread thrown out by Kiwis each year and uses them to brew beer – then takes the beer by-product and processes it into bread.

    • Low carbon choices
    • Innovation
    • Working Gen Less
  • Making waves in Waihi Beach

    3 March 2021

    Waihi Beach café Flatwhite won the Business Sustainability Award (sponsored by EECA) at the 2020 Westpac Tauranga Business Awards. They're part of the Bay of Plenty’s push to become a certified Eco Destination.

    • Low carbon choices
    • Working Gen Less