Thought Leader Waste To Value

Z Energy, Where We Stand.

At Z, we are under no illusion about the environmental impact our products have.

To us, sustainability means acting in a way that benefits the future of the neighbourhoods we operate in and the planet we live on. We think it’s good for business, good value and good sense.

There are a few distinctive points about Z and our stand on sustainability. Firstly, we’re committed to doing the right thing by New Zealand. Secondly, we’re a transport company, not an oil company – that means we’re not wedded to fossil fuels. And thirdly, we reckon we’re in a unique position to leverage our scale to move from being part of the problem to being right at the heart of the solution.

Our sustainability strategy is three-pronged:

  • We want to help customers use fuel more efficiently.
  • We want to develop alternative sustainable energy sources.
  • We want to make sure we’re running our own business as sustainably as possible.

We’ve already rolled out recycling and compost bins to Z stations across the country, and we’re adding more all the time. We’ve diverted food waste from our food and coffee sites to commercial compost facilities, saving more than 500 tonnes of waste from going to landfill. This has seen us continue to track well against our target of saving at least 70% of our waste from going to landfill.

We’ve invested $3m in changing out all of the lighting in our forecourt canopies for LEDs, which means we’ll be saving 490 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year for the 10 years of the project, resulting in a 16% reduction in our annual operating emissions. The LED lights also bring a raft of other benefits: our annual electricity bill has been cut by about 11%, better forecourt lighting means increased safety for site staff and customers, and we’ll have fewer outages and maintenance costs. We’ve also installed water recycling units in all our Z2O car washes in Auckland.

Though we know we have a long way to go on our sustainability journey, we reckon we’re on the way.

We look forward to working with other kiwi companies to leverage our scale to bring the energy to make a material and meaningful impact to sustainability in New Zealand.

Construction of our biodiesel facility in Wiri is progressing nicely. This plant will convert inedible tallow, a by-product of the New Zealand meat industry, into high quality biodiesel. We’re on track to have the plant commissioned in early February, and start delivering B5 and B20 biodiesel blends to customers from Taupo to Whangarei at the end of March.

Z Energy biodiesel will meet or exceed stringent New Zealand and European fuel specifications. This will be the largest biofuels production facility in NZ, bringing sustainable and competitively priced biodiesel to market. This will occur without a biofuel grant, which we believe to be a world first.

Our goal to become New Zealand’s largest biofuel supplier is part of our commitment to doing the right thing for New Zealand and future generations of New Zealanders. We’re very excited about bringing this locally produced, more sustainable fuel alternative to market soon, and we’ll keep you informed as to how we’re going.

About the author

Gerri Ward

Gerri Ward

Gerri Ward is Z Energy’s Sustainability Manager, leading the development and effective integration of Z’s sustainability strategy. Gerri is passionate about realising transformational change through purpose- and values-led organisational leadership. She has a background in climate change and natural resource policy implementation, and led the government’s Carbon Neutral Public Sector programme, and stakeholder engagement on business opportunities out of climate change.

6 Comments

  • If Z was a true leader, and a transport not a fossil fuels company as you state, then it would be beating the other service station chains to the opportunity of installing charging facilities for electric vehicles.

    • Hi Jeffery – Watch this space! We’re currently assessing the feasibility of installing rapid chargers on some of our sites. It’s proving a bit trickier than it looks…stand by!

  • Hi Gerri, could Z considered supporting biochar industry development in NZ as a pathway to transformational change? Govt funding for research has been drying up… our soils could follow. Research in NZ did not progress to field trials and there are many interesting avenues for investigation… agriculture, environmental services and carbon sequestration.

    • Hi Trevor,

      Z Energy is aware of progress in the use of using biomass to produce renewable fuel.

      We are especially interested in understanding and ensuring that any biomass process could produce a hydrocarbon fuel that is fit for purpose and ideally can be used as a ‘drop in’ fuel. Other products that can be produced are secondary in our considerations.

      The driver for technology selection for Z is a quality hydrocarbon fuel. While we are aware of various technologies that do produce a biochar, this is considered at the moment as more of a by-product of the Z biofuels program.

      If the technology selected did produce biochar with the correct quality then we would need to find a use for the material.

  • in regards to the statement below about recycling food waste, I was wondering if any of it was possibility of still good quality to be able to go to homeless shelters or church groups for distribution or is it of such poor quality that recycling is the only available option for that food waste. I understand the hot food going to waste as it sits in the pie warmers far to long anyway. I’m unsure of the waste food you’re are talking about but thought there could be possible options of donating some.
    We’ve already rolled out recycling and compost bins to Z stations across the country, and we’re adding more all the time. We’ve diverted food waste from our food and coffee sites to commercial compost facilities, saving more than 500 tonnes of waste from going to landfill.

    • Hi Edwin

      Thanks for your question.

      We’ve looked at whether we could donate food from our sites to food rescue charities. Most charities have a minimum collection size and as we endeavour to keep our food waste to a minimum by having tailored baking and ordering regimes for each site, in most instances we would not generate the minimum amount. Unfortunately, most of the food waste coming from our sites is pies and other food stuffs from our food cabinets and these items don’t meet the food safety criteria.

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