Finalised in July 2020, our Sustainability Strategy is focused on improving the sustainability of our ongoing operations while driving long term change. It is underpinned by an extensive implementation programme to ensure that it is delivered across all divisions and teams within Transpower as well as with our service provider, supplier and community partners. Over the long term we are striving to drive behaviour change so that the sustainable way becomes business as usual.
Our Sustainability Strategy sets out goals and enabling actions across four challenge areas:
- Climate Change
- Environmental Stewardship
- Sustainable Business
- Our Communities
The electricity transmission system is New Zealand’s primary platform for emissions reductions. We provide the connections for new, low-cost, generation as the system moves steadily towards becoming 100% renewable. We are also set to ensure the system is ready as more electric vehicles hit our roads and as more coal and gas fired industrial boilers are converted to electricity. You can read more about our Electrification Roadmap here, and our broader efforts to support the decarbonisation of our electricity system here.
We are also working hard to cut emissions arising across our supply chain; from how we build, operate and maintain the grid, to electrify our vehicle fleet and from energy use in our buildings and sub-stations.
Not only are we looking to reduce emissions, we’re also investing to make the grid more resilient to operating in a hotter climate and to make it better able to withstand more frequent and severe extreme weather events.
You can read more about where our emissions come from, and what’s we’re doing to record, manage and cut them here.
See also: Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory Report 2018-19 (pdf. June 2020)
Given the scale and reach of our assets across many locations with high landscape, environmental and cultural values, we have a responsibility to minimise our impact of our operations and, where possible, improve these amenities. We aim to reduce the environmental impact and increase the efficiency with which we use materials and resources. A such, we seek to reduce contaminants and waste discharges and restore the natural environment around our assets with the goal of creating a net gain in biodiversity.
We have a responsibility to our customers, communities, service providers, suppliers, Government shareholders and investors to consider the social and environmental impacts of all that we do and to report on our activities in a transparent way. Our principal way of doing is through our adoption of the Integrated Reporting and Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) frameworks standards in our Annual Report and Annual Review.
Having highly engaged, skilled and capable people is central to all that we do. It is essential that we make the most of the strengths inherent in having a diverse and inclusive workforce and culture. We are committed to workforce development and promoting health and safety across all spheres of our operations.
Much of our work to improve the sustainability of our operations can only be delivered in partnership with the community. We acknowledge mana whenua’s connections to the land and seek to partner with them, through our Māori engagement strategy, to remediate the natural environment and minimise the impact of our work on sites of cultural significance.
More broadly, we acknowledge our responsibility to promote kaitiakitanga encompassing the enabling role the development and operation of our assets play in reducing emissions and protecting Aotearoa New Zealand from the worst impacts of climate change. We also seek to work with local communities to be a good neighbour and minimise the physical presence related to our assets. This includes working closely with landowners to minimise disruption associated with our work.
Our CommunityCare Fund is one of the ways we contribute positively to the communities we operate in. We provide one-off grants towards community projects with wide-reaching and lasting benefits to the community, totalling around $600,000 each year. Our Community Advisory Panel brings together a diverse group of people who work closely with their communities. One of the ways we work alongside the panel is to guide our approach to community engagement.
You can read more about how we sustain our social licence to operate here.