By Guest Blogger Tiffany Feeney
New Zealand is known for Peter Jackson, sheep, and its stunning landscape which the Ministry of Economic Development is keen to preserve. Last Thursday, Envirostep, a web-based environmental management tool, was launched to help businesses assess their environmental and economic performance. The tool leads them through a series of questions about their environmental conduct and management, after which they receive a report to help improve their performance.
The initiative provides an accessible and thorough introduction of good environmental practices to consider (a 111-questions in all), but the final report with a percentage grade carries little weight or urgency.
A lesson in the art of framing the information to have economic significance would be more effective in getting businesses to take action.
Envirostep’s current statement: Turning-off unused lights and equipment reduces unnecessary energy consumption.
An alternative: Turning-off unused lights and equipment reduces your energy costs. In fact, many businesses can estimate anywhere between 10% – 30% savings. (www.eecabusiness.govt.nz)
While Envirostep is in its infancy, such metric tools have the potential to transform businesses’ performance not only in New Zealand, but also globally. To ensure that they are able to compete on a global scale given consumers’ demand for environmentally responsible operations, it would be to businesses’ advantage to explore tools such as Envirostep.
Tiffany Feeney is a 2008 Pratt Design Management graduate. She works and lives in New Zealand but is plotting her next escape to Ireland.