At Xero, we’re committed to fine tuning every aspect of our global operations to ensure we’re maximising the positive impact we can have on people and the planet. As part of our focus on our environmental impact, and aligning with our Net Zero @ Xero initiative, today I am stoked to share that in Aotearoa we have made the move to electric vehicles (EVs) with the help of Zilch and Hyundai.
According to the EECA, battery EVs emit 60 percent fewer climate-changing emissions over their full life cycle than petrol vehicles, even when you take into account raw material extraction, battery manufacture, vehicle manufacture and shipping.
So, when the time came to renew our vehicle fleet in New Zealand, the decision to move to electric was a no-brainer and a natural extension of our Net Zero @ Xero commitment that we announced in 2019.
Net Zero @ Xero
Net Zero @ Xero is all about our commitment as a business to carbon neutrality and ways that we can reduce our impact. As part of this, we’ve invested in carbon offset projects by purchasing credits across separate carbon certified environmental projects and conservation schemes that are recognised under international standards.
The projects are in New Zealand and Indonesia and are designed to restore indigenous forests and protect endangered species, soak up carbon dioxide directly from the air and generate clean energy with the aim of reducing future emissions.
In 2020, I was lucky enough to visit the New Zealand Fishermans Bay Permanent Forest Sink Initiative (PFSI), a small-scale project located near Akaroa on the South Island. The project consists of 59 hectares of post-1989 regenerating native forest and outstanding conservation projects including protecting the breeding habitat of endangered yellow-eyed penguins, giant bush weta, and extremely rare plants.
Xero has offset 100 percent of its carbon emissions for the financial year ended 31 March 2019, 2020 and 2021 and is committed to continue doing this each year into the future.
In March 2021, Xero was also proud to become certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active, the Australian Government’s certification body, which was a significant milestone for us.
Looking to the future
This year we were excited to join The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism as a commitment to decarbonising the economy, with the goal of being net-zero carbon by 2040. Through participation, we look forward to collaborating with fellow signatories to address the most critical climate challenges.
We’ve also launched our small business sustainability education hub. According to a Xero survey*, 68 percent of small businesses surveyed want to operate more sustainably but don’t know where to begin. So, we’ve collated resources from across the globe to help our small business customers and partners build more sustainable businesses.
Additionally, we are looking to develop targets and emissions reduction strategies aligned to the Science Based Target Initiative, as well as aligning to the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to manage climate risks and opportunities across everything we do as a business.
For more information about Xero’s social and environmental initiatives, visit www.xero.com/socialimpact.