How to kick off small business climate action with a comprehensive new climate tool

The new Climate Action Toolbox is a one-stop shop for organisations ready to start their climate journey.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's)

  • 97%

    of all kiwi businesses are SMEs

  • 35%

    of the country's GDP is attributable to SMEs

  • 19%

    of businesses know where to find climate change advice

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make up around 97% of all kiwi businesses and contribute around 35% of the country’s GDP. Together, they can have a huge positive impact on climate action.

But if you own or work for a SME, no doubt you’re finding times tight right now, and climate action is at the bottom of a very long list. The last year has put the economy and health to the top of our worries. You’re not alone: our research shows that just 12% of businesses have looked for information on climate change action, and 38% said their business just had too many other priorities right now. Only 19% reported knowing where to find information.

Post-Covid, 60% of businesses describe themselves as “surviving”, and nearly two-thirds of those aren’t sure they’ll make it.

However, our research also found that small business were more likely to have embraced change and the benefits of working in new ways through the pandemic, and climate action was still on the agenda, even if it’s the last item.

In order to support SMEs to make the positive changes they’re looking for, EECA joined a collaboration between the Sustainable Business Network (SBN), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Waka Kotahi (NZTA), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, BNZ, Meridian Energy and DNA to launch the Climate Action Toolbox.

The free, easy-to-use toolbox provides a climate action journey with tailored advice and support, based on self-assessment. It connects to the best information, tools and resources, including carbon footprint calculators.

“We know businesses want to do the right thing for climate. The challenge for many, particularly smaller businesses, is what to do."

Rachel Brown ONZM, CEO and Founder of SBN

Rachel Brown says "This is why we collaborated to create the Climate Action Toolkit, which is an excellent resource for business. It’s free, super easy to use and can be tailored to the individual circumstances of any small to medium sized business. It gives examples of what others have done and creates a ready-to-use action plan.

"There are no excuses for inaction on climate anymore!"

How the Climate Action Toolbox works

The tool provides tailored advice and support in five major impact areas:

  • Moving people
  • Moving goods
  • Office operations
  • Site operations and equipment
  • Designing products


  • Businesses first go through a 60-second assessment to identify impact areas relevant to them.
  • Under each impact area, businesses are presented with specific actions they can take along with a step-by-step implementation guide.
  • There are over 40 actions, including switching to electric vehicles and shared transport, limiting non-essential travel, installing LED lighting, being energy efficient, and converting to clean energy equipment.
  • Businesses will also be provided with case studies of other businesses in their community undertaking actions under relevant impact areas.