12 Feb 2020

Generational change inspires carbon reduction

Posted in: Toitū Together

Generational change inspires carbon reduction - Hall McMaster & Associates

A passion for leaving a positive legacy for future generations inspired professional human services company, Hall McMaster & Associates (HMA), to take climate action through the Toitū carbonzero programme.

Ken McMaster, HMA Founder and Director

HMA Founder and Director Ken McMaster

“It has been 10 years since we joined Toitū Envirocare’s carbonzero programme and throughout that time we have remained committed to finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Ken McMaster, HMA Founder and Director.

HMA provides training and consultation to people working in some of our most challenging social environments, including psychologists, social workers, and support workers.

With three dedicated staff and a relatively small carbon footprint, the Toitū carbonzero programme has enabled HMA to reduce their emissions by an impressive 53 per cent since their base year, diverting approximately 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere.

This success saw HMA named a finalist in the small organisation category at the 2019 Toitū Envirocare Awards.

“We work with anything from large state-based correctional systems to small community-based not-for-profits,” Ken says.

“With a growing recognition of the challenges of climate change, both our clients and suppliers are increasingly aware that every effort, however small, counts.”

Ken McMaster Workshop Ken McMaster running an in-room training workshop

HMA is committed to taking a long-term, leadership approach to emissions reduction. While limiting short-term costs and overheads can be a challenge for many small businesses, they recognise that the sustainability of their future relies on minimising the impacts of climate change. This philosophy has shaped a number of important decisions that HMA have made regarding the future direction of the organisation.

“Having recently relocated to a shared facility is yet another step in reducing our emissions,” Ken says. “Greater use of technology increasingly allows opportunities for more remote working and many of our learning products are now in the online space. We are also able to supervise buyer face-time technologies, further limiting the need for travel.”

“It can be difficult for small businesses to see immediate value in being part of carbon reduction programs,” he says. “We never did this for business interests alone, however we have taken the view that environmental stewardship is an important part of being in business and that we have a contribution to make towards the future.”

Meeting HMA’s carbon reduction targets has been a team effort in partnership with Toitū Envirocare.

“Our technical advisor has been outstanding with plenty of support, advice and information as we have traversed our way through 10 years of membership in the Toitū carbonzero programme and the annual audit process that comes along with that”, Ken says.

In addition, their Toitū carbonzero certification and carbon reduction initiatives have given HMA the opportunity to talk to their peers and stakeholders about climate change and environmental sustainability, and to consider their own carbon reduction efforts.

“Living a more thoughtful approach to business has inspired our staff to be more mindful in their daily decision-making. The other really positive spin-off has been the snowball effect that our workplace initiatives are having with the family and friends of our staff and stakeholders.”

HMA may be small, but with a long-term focus on carbon reduction and support from Toitū Envirocare they are providing environmental leadership far beyond the boundaries of their business.

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Toitū carbonzero and Toitū carbonreduce certified organisations

Toitū Envirocare’s Toitū carbonreduce and Toitū carbonzero certifications are currently available in 17 countries and the certification marks are recognised in over 60 countries, making it ideal for companies working in global supply chains or exporting products. Toitū carbonreduce and carbonzero certification are accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand and were the world’s first carbon certification programme to be accredited under ISO 14065. Toitū Envirocare also offer the only carbon neutral product certification to PAS 2050 outside of the UK.