How we're all using the planet's resources isn't sustainable. At Z, we know we’re part of the problem. It's a no brainer that we should be part of the solution.

The story so far

Back in 2016 we asked Kiwis what we can all do better to improve the state of our environment and take action on climate change.

86% of you think small changes made by an individual can make a meaningful difference. At Z, we agree giant strides start with small steps.

Your views helped shape our stand on sustainability and led to a number of goals and targets that Z has taken action on over the past 5+ years.


So how are we doing?

  • We've reduced our carbon emissions by 30% and we offset those we are unable to avoid.
  • We've reduced waste to landfill year-on-year from our operations (offices, terminals and Z retail sites) continuing to move towards being zero waste.
  • We’ve used electricity efficiently and reduced our consumption comparative to our 2012 baseline by 30%.
  • We’ve used water as efficiently as possible.

And much more. Read on for the full lowdown.

Our goals

Each of our targets is linked to taking action under three Sustainable Development Goals (referenced as SDGs below) to ensure we strive to create a better future for all.

Finding solutions to combat climate change is all about:

  • Evolution
  • Revolution
  • Disruption



Goal: Use less, waste less

We’ve economised our resources and as a result the environmental footprint of our direct operations has reduced. We're not wasteful – we’ve done more with less, and taken the full environmental cost of our activities into account across our business.



Carbon (SDG 13)

We've reduced our carbon emissions by 18% since FY17 against a target of 30% by FY21. Each year we have voluntarily offset the emissions we can't avoid. A total of 160,465 tonnes of CO2e has been offset in permanent forests since FY17. For a full breakdown of Z’s carbon emissions take a look at our GHG Inventory.

More about SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Waste (SDG 12)

We aimed to reduce waste to landfill year-on-year from our offices, terminals and retail sites and following a challenging few years, have stayed on track since 2019. Here are some of our waste reduction initiatives:

  • The largest public recycling network in Aotearoa New Zealand with 370 bins at 146 Z sites.
  • Saying goodbye to plastic bags at retail sites in June 2018.
  • Introducing Z Espress takeaway cups and lids that are certified commercially compostable through our on-site collection bins.
  • Donating Z Espress coffee grounds to gardeners around the country.
  • Introducing a discount for reusable BYO cups saving over 310,000 take away cups from being used in the past five years.
  • Running Z Retail’s annual Waste Warrior competition that challenges sites to work within their teams alongside suppliers and customers to reduce their waste.
  • Taking action on packaging waste by committing to using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable Z Espress packaging by 2025 as part of the New Zealand Plastics Packaging Declaration.
  • We're founding members of the Lubricant Container Stewardship Scheme, working to recycle the approximately 4.5 million lubricant oil bottles sent to landfill in Aotearoa New Zealand each year.

More about SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Electricity (SDG 7)

We aimed to use electricity efficiently and reduce consumption across our retail sites by 30% against a 2012 baseline. We’ve grown a lot since then and customer offerings have also increased making our target harder to hit!

That hasn't stopped us from trying though. We’ve reduced electricity use by 4% across both the retail network and across Z’s operations including retail, supply and corporate sites by 32% since 2012. A focus on efficiency has seen year-on-year declines of 5% in the retail network since 2017.

This includes making the switch to LED lighting on 171 of our forecourts.

More about SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

Water (SDG 6)

Our aim was to use water as efficiently as possible. The majority of water consumed by Z is at our retail sites in car washes and at terminals to ensure the safe operation of sites.

Water use has decreased by 20% on retail sites since 2016. The majority of car washes are fitted with water recyclers ensuring at least 65% of water is recycled for re-use in the system.

In 2020 Z initiated a rollout of water tanks to supply water for Z20 car washes in the water-constrained Auckland region, which when completed will save 12 million litres of water a year.

More about SDG 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all





Goal: Make purchasing decisions that support sustainability

Through our purchasing decisions, we support a world that prospers within sustainable parameters.



Suppliers (SDG 12)

Our suppliers are chosen based on our consideration of their fully costed environmental impact and can demonstrate support for Z’s sustainability goals.

To this end, Z developed a Supplier Code of Conduct which is embedded in all supplier contracts and purchase order terms and conditions. The Code was updated in July 2020 to reflect regulatory changes, including the Zero Carbon Amendment Act, Australian Modern Slavery Act and Z’s refreshed safety and wellbeing stand.

More about SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Customers (SDG 7)

Te Kora Hou, our BioD plant in Auckland, supplied biodiesel to our customers with bulk tanks or those filling up at private truck stops throughout the Upper North Island until 2020 when the plant was hibernated.

Z remains committed to servicing our customers with low-carbon fuel and Z biodiesel. A B5 blend is now available at the Z Highbrook truck stop in Auckland to all Z Business cardholders.

More about SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

Product development (SDG 7)

The development and supply of low-carbon products and services is built into Z’s strategy.

Since 2017, Z has invested in Mevo, Australasia’s first free-floating car share company, based in Wellington. We've partnered with Flick Electric and most recently launched Z Electric to maximise the innovation potential of the energy sector as it transitions to a lower-carbon future.

More about SDG 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

Emergent technology (SDG8)

We aimed to build capacity and capability in low emissions technology. Z contributed to the Business Energy Council future energy scenarios modelling the energy mix required to reduce emissions.

In addition to developing a home-grown biodiesel solution, Z advocates for a low carbon transport future including electrons, sustainable aviation fuel and hydrogen. Z is an active member of the New Zealand Bio Jet Consortium, working to develop a solution for sustainable aviation fuel.

More about SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all





Goal: Enable others to reduce their environmental impact

Through leadership, advocacy and partnership, we’ve inspired and enabled Kiwis to innovate and lead the world in taking responsibility and action to reduce their environmental impact.



Emerging transport technologies (SDG11)

Electric vehicle chargers are now available at seven of our sites and we’re seeing increasing demand.

More about SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Customer offsetting (SDG 13)

In February 2020, Carbon Count was launched on Z App. It lets all New Zealanders view their emissions from fuel use and choose to offset, either in full or part, through permanent Aotearoa New Zealand forests.

Approximately 250 tonnes of carbon have been offset (equivalent to planting over 1,000 native trees) by Kiwis supporting a variety of projects across the country.

More about SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Partnerships (SDG 13)

We committed to partnering with others to move Aotearoa New Zealand into a low emissions economy.

Z is a founding member of the Climate Leaders Coalition and active members of the Sustainable Business Council and the Sustainable Business Network.

From vegan pies, Fairtrade coffee and KeepCups to BioD and native forests, we continue to build partnerships both big and small so we can transition to a low carbon economy. Get in touch if you want to join.

More about SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Local forests (SDG 13)

We aimed to partner with local permanent forest providers to maximise the community benefit of our offsetting and carbon procurement activities.

Z has partnered with Permanent Forests NZ Limited to ensure that all voluntary offsets are locked in long-lived forest carbon sinks in Aotearoa New Zealand that both address the climate crisis and restore local landscapes.

A total of 160,465 tonnes of CO2e has been offset in over 20 permanent forest projects since FY17.

Z has also been proud to partner with Trees That Count since 2017, funding 56,698 new native trees and supporting 64 planting communities leading to better biodiversity, cleaner waterways and better physical and mental health for our Aotearoa New Zealand communities.

More about SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Policy development (SDG 13)

We committed to leading and generating the development of policy that moves Aotearoa New Zealand to a low emissions economy.

Z has actively supported the development of a low carbon policy over the past five years and welcomed the recent government announcement to introduce a biofuels mandate in 2021.

We've publicly submitted in support of climate-related policy including the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act, Emissions Trading Scheme and the Climate Change Commission’s draft recommended pathway for Aotearoa New Zealand to reach net-zero.

More about SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts



Our environmental impacts are reported annually in line with GRI and <IR> standards. In 2020, Z started to formally address its climate-related financial risks and opportunities in line with the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework. Take a look at our Annual Reports for more information.

We've made our website greener to reduce our carbon footprint

The internet uses a lot of energy – more than Aotearoa New Zealand does in a year. By making our website faster to load and easier to use, we can help lower the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

It might not seem like much, but small actions make a big difference. Find out more about our commitment to sustainability.

Learn more

Got a question about our sustainability goals?

Send us a message or give us a call.