20 Jun 2019

Building on Climate Action Momentum | Boffa Miskell

Posted in: Toitū Together

Building on Climate Action Momentum - Boffa Miskell

As a leading environmental, planning and design consultancy, Boffa Miskell’s decision to opt for CEMARS® certification was an easy decision, according to Business Services Manager, Stacey Day.

Boffa Miskell a CEMARS certified organisation

“Our Board and partners group expressed keen interest in us taking action, reducing our carbon emissions, and considering our on-going role and responsibility as part of New Zealand moving to a low-carbon economy,” says Stacey.

“I attended the Sustainability Success conference in Christchurch last year and was impressed by the fact that some organisations are only dealing with suppliers who have the required sustainability processes in place.”

“Things are changing, and I don’t think you’ll be in business for long if you’re not thinking about it,” she adds.

Established in 1972, Boffa Miskell has offices across New Zealand. The company’s mission is to help its clients to enhance the quality of the natural, built, social and cultural environment; while fostering creative talent and nurturing its own staff. CEMARS certification not only aligns well with this service offering, but it also represents Boffa Miskell’s commitment to environmental stewardship as a company and as individuals.

Stacey elaborates, “Many of our staff are passionate ecologists, biosecurity specialists and consultants who care deeply about the environment. They were very excited to hear about our CEMARS certification, so we see this as a great way to engage our staff.”

As required under CEMARS certification, Boffa Miskell measured its organisational GHG emissions and developed an emissions management plan with reduction targets. The emissions measurements and management plan were then independently verified and certified to the highest international standards and best practice by Enviro-Mark Solutions.

The learnings

A major surprise for Boffa Miskell was its business travel emissions. With air travel being the highest emission source, the team is now looking to reduce this by better utilising remote conferencing technology, and monitoring closely by using established systems like Orbit World Travel (a carboNZeroCertTM certified organisation under House of Travel Auckland City).

Boffa Miskell's Emissions Sources 2018/19

The process also brought into focus that Boffa Miskell had various electricity providers for its seven New Zealand offices, managed by multiple staff in the organisation.  The decision was made to consolidate electricity supply to a single provider - Ecotricity (a carboNZero certified organisation and electricity product), which has made managing electricity a lot more efficient.

What’s next for Boffa Miskell’s climate action journey?

“We’re keen to get on with our reduction projects and make the most of this momentum,” says Stacey.

Boffa Miskell has appointed a national sustainability steering group that is responsible for developing a strategy to improve the company’s environmental policy, keep abreast of governmental legislation, support innovation in design and planning solutions, and work with clients and suppliers on their own carbon footprints. This group is also investigating whether Boffa Miskell will look to offset our emissions by becoming carboNZero certified.

For improvements on a day-to-day operational level, a ‘Green Team’ of staff volunteers will be set up across the country. This team will manage daily sustainability practices at a local level and consolidate ideas from across the company for future consideration. The Green Team will also implement some of the reduction projects in Boffa Miskell’s emissions management plan.

A key driver for Boffa Miskell is staff engagement, so a primary focus has been to engage and educate staff about the changes they can make to live a sustainable lifestyle at home as well.

What does Boffa Miskell recommend for other businesses on a similar journey?

Stacey’s recommendation is to start with a credible baseline.

“CEMARS certification gives you a good baseline to work out what your carbon emissions are so you can actually track whether your initiatives are resulting in reductions or not. You might look at reducing waste or some other initiative, but having the data from each emission source gives you a clear idea of where you need to focus your efforts.”

“It’s also an educational experience. We found the Enviro-Mark Solutions team to be very knowledgeable and helpful. You pay Enviro-Mark Solutions to help you with your certification, but there are a lot of other value-adds you get throughout the process,” she adds.

Congratulations, Boffa Miskell! We look forward to working with you on your climate action journey, and to help you demonstrate amazing reductions.