26 Oct 2018

N-Compass to travel less and influence more

Posted in: Toitū Together

N-Compass to travel less and influence more

N-Compass, an Auckland-based project management company, thinks carboNZeroCertTM certification is just the beginning of a journey they’d like to take with their staff and clients. We had a chat with N-Compass Director Peter Sewell, a Green Star-certified professional and sustainability champion, to get his thoughts on leading a carboNZero-certified business.

carboNZero presentation to N-Compass Limited

Increasing awareness about environmental issues and concern for their imprint on climate change got N-Compass to switch gears and start taking more environmental action.

“I was on leave for part of last year to reflect and spend time with my children”, says Peter.

“My time away led me to think about my values and the things that were important to me. I felt that as a company, N-Compass could be doing a lot more to reduce our environmental footprint.”

Peter wasn’t alone in his thinking. “I put it to my co-directors and staff to consider, and the response was unanimously positive with the willingness to be part of the solution to a global issue. That was really the start of the conversation about sustainability and what it might mean for us. Out of that, we came across the carboNZero programme and decided that certification was a great step for us to take.”

Like most small professional services companies, N-Compass' footprint is relatively small, the majority of it caused by emissions from travel – which is also where their biggest learnings come from. For each the last five years, N-Compass has organised an overseas trip with staff as a reward for their hard work.  

“Each year it’s been a fantastic experience,” says Peter, “but seeing that the trip forms a large part of our carbon footprint was a real eye-opener. It has certainly got me thinking of better ways to get the benefits of a trip like that. It was a surprise for me quite how much impact air travel had."  

Peter is especially pleased with the way staff are responding to the sustainability conversation.

“I’ve been in meetings with clients talking about new projects and without me needing to raise the subject of sustainable design, I’ve seen staff members raise it which is encouraging to see. If all this leads to more awareness on their part and a willingness to have that conversation with our clients about sustainability in their projects, then this will be a huge success in my book.”

So, what’s next for N-Compass? They’ve already hit the ground running (or driving), with their first  electric vehicle, and Peter hopes they'll be able to electrify their entire fleet in the next two or three years.  

Though there’s obvious potential to manage emissions as their business grows, N-Compass believes they have a bigger role to play. “There are lots of opportunities for us to influence in our role as project manager”, Peter says.

“If we have a conversation with a client at an early stage about environmentally sustainable design and get that weaved into a design brief that’ll follow right through the project. We have an opportunity there to help minimise the environmental impact of large building development projects, including trying to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste produced each year by the building industry.”

N-Compass Limited is a project management company that works on a range of building development and infrastructure projects. They've been in business for about 14 years and service a broad range of clients from the public and private sector.

Enviro-Mark Solutions is proud to be walking alongside carboNZero certified N-Compass on their sustainability journey and is looking forward to seeing their leadership in the building development and infrastructure space.