Proxima Joins Climate Leaders Coalition

At Proxima, we see climate change as a serious social and business risk. Why? Because the climate is more than just ‘weather’. It is the complex, interwoven fabric of environmental conditions that even make life possible.

All life. So that’s you, me, the bees, the birds, wiggly worms, fish, trees that breathe, fungi, plants and the 8 million or so other species that have evolved into a delicately balanced, self-sustaining biological ecosystem which nourishes and sustains us all.

A stable climate is essential for a healthy and resilient living ecosystem which, in turn, is fundamental to a stable and resilient society and economy. It’s as simple as that.

Now it’s time to get serious about this. That’s why we’ve joined the Climate Leaders Coalition, along with 60 other businesses responsible for a significant share of New Zealand’s business sector emissions.

Along with Proxima, CEOs of Z Energy, Westpac, Ngai Tahu, Vector, Air New Zealand, Spark and NZ Post have committed to ensuring New Zealand transitions to a low emissions society as soon as possible. It’s the only way we can guarantee a positive and happy future for New Zealanders, businesses and communities all over the world.

So what are we doing at Proxima?

We prepare an annual carbon footprint for our business which helps us understand where our carbon emissions come from, and what we can do to reduce them next year. As a consultancy using shared office spaces and generating minimal waste, over 95% of our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are travel related.

Air travel or Zoom?  Sometimes being there is everything, but we use video-conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype whenever we can avoid the need for travel. And when we do need to fly, we’ve committed to offset our carbon every time. It’s easy and affordable; and offered by Air New Zealand and Jetstar as part of the booking process (though each company uses different offsetting approaches). In our view the carbon offset is as an integral part of purchasing the ticket, just like paying the airport taxes.

Zoomy or Uber?  When it comes to taxis, we prefer to use Zoomy – the locally owned phone-app service which charges drivers 15% less commission than Uber, and pays its taxes here in New Zealand.

We’re making a personal effort too.

Stefan’s Tour de Auckland:  Last year, Stefan clocked up over 1,600 km on his bike around the city for work related trips. He wears a hi-vis vest, so he’s easy to spot, and if you do see him out there on the roads please pass carefully (although it’s quite possible he will be the one passing you!)

Simon’s sharing everything:  Simon lives on Waiheke with his wife, Bronwyn, and two boys Alec and  Jimi.  They’re a one car family. By using bike share services Onzo and NextBike in Auckland’s CBD; the Cityhop car share service and public transport options; it’s easy to get around the city and beyond without owning a car.

Calum’s buying the coffees:  Calum lives in Ohakune, which means long trips when he does travel. But with his Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid the footprint is reduced. Wherever he goes, Calum is the master of packing-in as many meetings as he can. He’s a man who knows how to make the most of his time and travel investments, so let him know if you’re keen for a coffee.

Brian’s buying with impact: Brian uses consumer power to reduce his footprint and to support low-carbon options. When it comes to food this means serving up less meat for family dinners, and preferring sea or locally-freighted foods to avoid air miles. He supports brands that enable consumers to have positive impact.  You won’t see him around town in Wellington without his trusty Misprint notebook.

Proxima prefers handprints to footprints: Of course, the biggest impact we can make at Proxima is through our work.  We support and advise organisations about how they can add more value whilst shrinking not just their carbon footprint, but also their broader impacts on people and the environment. We like to think of it as having a positive handprint which measures all the good you do in the world; rather than leaving a heavy footprint.

Restorative business models are on the way: If you’re looking for some inspiration from a gold standard approach, here’s a great example we think stands out – Interface’s Climate Take Back plan. As Interface says: if we changed the climate by mistake, we can change it back by intent.

This bold sustainability strategy for a multi-national industrial firm is set out on a 48 slide deck (on Slideshare) for the whole world to read, download and share. It explains why they are pursuing their goals, what those goals are and how they will be tackled; and it provides credible evidence to support the possibility of the company’s ambition. This leadership approach has been a financial success for the company, as well as building its brand to iconic status as a sustainability pioneer.

Take a look.  And then ask yourself whether you’re really doing as much as you possibly can.




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