Within the Crown Group we understand that our services and activities impact the environment. The effects of global population growth, excessive consumption and pollution have led to serious questions being asked about the way large companies conduct their business. Crown has developed an environmental programme called Destination Green, the objective being to monitor, measure and minimise the impact of our activities across all worldwide operations.
Our goal within Crown New Zealand is to positively address environmental issues and exceed the expectations of our customers and the communities we serve. Within our branch network the focus is on three distinct elements of environmental conservation, these are lowering our consumption, reusing materials and recycling. Our Green Liason Manager coordinates environmental committees within each of our 11 branches. The purpose of these committees is to ensure we are in line with global policy and achieve or exceed our branch and country performance targets through a consistent approach.
Reducing consumption and keeping purchases to a minimum is the major focus of our programme. The important thing to remember is that lowering consumption not only reduces the materials and products used but also lowers the energy, gas and transportation costs of production. A reduction in consumption delivers a chain reaction of positive environmental impacts right back to the sourcing of the material.
To significantly reduce consumption within our New Zealand operations has necessitated some big changes to the way we operate. Our Moving and Storage business is a high volume user of fuel and packaging material, these have been our primary focus. The changes made to date have required a leap of faith as they necessitated a significant investment in new partnerships, assets and infrastructure. Luckily our customers have understood and viewed these changes enthusiastically. This acceptance has given us the confidence to prioritise environmental issues in all aspects of our daily and strategic decision making.
Here are some examples of initiatives we have undertaken:
- All of our long distance relocations are now containerised and transported by either KiwiRail or coastal shipping. When you consider that one train can take 100 trucks off the road and a container ship can take over 1000 trucks off the road, the corresponding reduction in fuel emissions is something we are very proud of.
- Within our vehicle fleet we are actively replacing company cars with lower emission options, primarily Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry hybrid vehicles. The change to hybrids brings an incredible 70% improvement in petrol consumption when compared to our traditional petrol powered vehicles.
- Our commercial team now provide reusable plastic crates instead of cartons for large scale library, office and business relocation projects. Thousands of cartons are often used on these projects so there is not only a significant reduction in carton consumption but also the opportunity of reusing the crates over and over again.
- Our major consideration when purchasing packing materials is to achieve the highest possible recycled content. The goal is to get as close as possible to 100% recycled material, given the appropriate strength and quality requirements of each item. We have achieved this with our latest carton having a minimum of 92% recycled content.
- At each of our branches we have employees dedicated to the retrieval and sorting of packaging materials for recycling and reuse. Our policy is to reuse material for domestic relocations whenever possible. Specifically this means cartons, wrapping material, plastic mattress and lounge suite covers and flat screen television cartons. Material that can’t be reused is sorted for recycling by placing in the appropriate bins for uplift from recycling contractors.
- Each of our branches have committed to a 12% saving in electricity consumption, year on year. This is achieved through a variety of activities, including motion lighting sensors, minimising lighting and air conditioning usage and changing to eco friendly options for both inside and outside lighting. In the bigger picture we utilise natural light whenever possible and ensure the most eco friendly construction methods and features in any new building development we undertake.
Within each Crown branch we look to harness the passion of individual staff members through our Green Committees. These committees set the tone for a strong eco culture. The recycled content and consumption of paper supplies and printed material are carefully managed. Office supplies are monitored to ensure there is no duplication of items (eg staplers) and that we reuse and recycle whenever possible. Recycling bins are provided in the offices, warehouses and canteens so waste materials can be separated and recycled. There is a focus on having well planned and planted green areas around our buildings and properties.
One of the partnerships we are most proud of is our association with Living Legends a community project dedicated to planting 170,000 native trees and shrubs over a 3 year period. Trees not only play an important part in moderating the climate but also improve air quality, beautify the landscape and provide homes for wildlife. When we say ‘We Love Being Green’ there is no better endorsement than the Living Legends Project. Our staff and their families and friends actively volunteer their services so we can have a full team of planters across 10 of the 17 nationwide locations on designated weekends each year. Over the last 2 years we have sponsored and planted nearly 10,000 trees.
Moving forward we have many ideas for furthering our environmental programme and making a positive difference. Currently we are researching the use of bio fuel and have recently initiated on line driver training to further reduce our emissions. In the bigger picture the goal of the Crown Worldwide Group is to have ISO environmental accreditation at every Crown office, worldwide. This is the next step of the Destination Green journey.
This article was written by James Logan, Country Manager of Crown Relocations. Please don’t hesitate to contact James if you want to discuss the article via email: [email protected]