Sustainability defines who we are
Meridian’s commitment to sustainability leadership is concentrated on delivering in areas where we can make a meaningful difference. Our Sustainability Policy, Climate Action Plan and ESG commitments represent our focus.
Meridian is proud to share some recent developments which illustrate our focus on meaningful and delivery focused impact.
Our refreshed Climate Action Plan (CAP) contains our initiatives to take ambitious action on climate change and achieve our ‘Half by 30’ target (see below). In line with Meridian’s ‘Half by 30’ commitment, the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has approved Meridian’s near-term science-based emissions reduction target.
Our commitment to sustainability leadership continues to grow - having joined the UN Global Compact in June 2022, delivered our 4th Climate Related Disclosure Report for FY22 and as at May 2023 retained inclusion in the S&P Global Dow Jones Asia Pacific Sustainability Index through a robust Corporate Sustainability Assessment.
We continue to make progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and we are proud to be one of the first signatories to the New Zealand Climate Leaders Coalition.
Science Based Targets & Climate Action Plan
Our refreshed Climate Action Plan contains our initiatives to support decarbonisation for our customers, plant a permanent forest transitioning to 100% natives over time, and to deliver our ‘Half by 30’ target.
Half by 30 represents Meridian’s commitment to halve operational emissions by FY30 from an FY21 baseline* and includes underlying targets to halve scope 1 and 2 emissions, and halve scope 3 emissions** within the same timeframe.
We were pleased to receive approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) August 2022 that our commitment to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by FY30 from a FY21 base year is in line with a 1.5 deg C trajectory, with our further commitment noted to also reduce gross scope 3 emissions by 50% within the same timeframe***.
We have also committed to set long-term emission reduction targets with the SBTi in line with reaching net zero by 2050 and we are excited to be a part of the Business Ambition for 1.5 deg C campaign.
*In FY22 Meridian reset its baseline from FY19 to FY21 to account for the sale of the Meridian Australia business and to ensure that Meridian’s most recent GHG inventory was used in our commitment to set near and long-term company-wide emissions reductions in line with science-based net-zero with the SBTi
**excluding one-time construction emissions from major projects and activities that are capitalised as part of renewable energy projects
***an approach to classify the ambition of scope 3 targets is in development
SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy
Ditching prompt payment discounts
Meridian Energy was the first New Zealand electricity retailer to remove prompt payment discounts (PPDs). Why? Because we believe that prompt payment discounts are unfair, but mostly to those who struggle to pay their power bills or are late for a payment date. We replaced PPDs with new lower tariffs that are simpler and easier to understand.
The recent Electricity Price Review commended our actions. We’re proud to be industry leaders in this area by making a decision that’s fairer for all.
We’re committed to supporting our most vulnerable customers. Whatever their circumstances, we want to keep the power on. So, we’re flexible with options for payment arrangements, we offer LevelPay to make budgeting easier, and we’re always looking to make sure they’re the power plan that’s best for them.
We’re proud to only generate electricity from 100% renewable sources. As New Zealand’s largest renewable generator, Meridian is the most significant contributor to the Government’s aspiration of 100% renewable electricity.
But there’s always more we can do. Here’s what we're doing to do our bit for the environment. Read more on our Climate Action Plan 2023
Environmental, social and governance (ESG)
ESG is a set of standards that measure a business’s impact on society, the environment and how transparent and accountable it is. Meridian complies and publishes a wide range of ESG information, the key components can be found here.
Low Carbon Energy Roadmap
Meridian, Contact, Genesis, Mercury, Vector, Unison, Powerco, Wellington Electricity, and Orion commissioned an independent study to provide a constructive whole of electricity sector view on how best to decarbonise Aotearoa’s economy.
This independent report by Boston Consultancy Group presents a whole-of-sector view of the electricity sector in Aotearoa, which plays a key role in our country’s emission reduction plan.
This report outlines a credible pathway to achieving New Zealand’s decarbonisation objectives through more renewable generation and the electrification of transport and heating. Doing so will require unprecedented investment, but could result in lower household electricity bills due to improved energy efficiency, thanks to overall fuel savings from electric vehicles.
The full independent study can be found below.
Asia Pacific Dow Jones Sustainability Index inclusion
Meridian is thrilled to currently be listed on the S&P Global Dow Jones Asia Pacific Sustainability Index as at August 2022. The S&P Dow Jones Indices are the longest-running global sustainability benchmarks worldwide.
United Nations Global Compact
Meridian is proud to announce that we have joined the United Nations Global Compact initiative (UNGC) – a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible business practices. Meridian joins thousands of other companies globally, committed to taking responsible business action to create a better world.
As a participant of the UNGC Meridian will continuously progress the alignment of our strategies and operations with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take action in support of UN goals and issues embodied in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Targeting zero carbon
Since 2006, we’ve been reporting our greenhouse gas emissions inventory annually. This shows the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be directly related to the Meridian Group.
From 30 June 2019, we’re net Zero Carbon across the operations of the Meridian Group, through purchasing and retiring Gold Standard Verified Emissions Reductions. We’re also planting forests to grow our own offsets.
And we’ve set an ambitious target of halving our Group operational emissions by 2030.
We’ve also taken the time to develop a deep understanding of how climate change may impact our business now and into the future, using the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
Signing the CEO Climate Change Statement
Along with more than 100 other businesses, Meridian has signed the CEO Climate Change Statement which encourages all companies to see climate change as a critical business issue.
Our signature is a commitment to measuring, reporting on and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement aspiration to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees.
Accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles
At Meridian we’re big believers in electric vehicles. Our fleet will be 90% electric by 2020, and we’re a Drive Electric board member. We’re keen to help our customers, and the rest of New Zealand, with driving electric. It’s one of the biggest opportunities the country has to reduce emissions.
Our competitive Electric Car Plan offers our customers low night rates for charging vehicles. And, with support from EECA’s Low Emissions Vehicles Contestable Fund, we’re enabling more people to experience the benefits of electric vehicles. We’re installing charging stations at some of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations, and we’re always considering opportunities to expand this further.
We’re proud to be leaders in large-scale commercial solar. In June 2019 we turned on the sun at Christchurch’s Northlands Mall, in partnership with Kiwi Properties and Reid Technology. It’s part of New Zealand’s largest commercial programme, which will see solar arrays on shopping centre rooves in Palmerston North, Hamilton and Auckland. The programme will make Kiwi Property New Zealand’s biggest solar power user.
Northlands’ array of 672 panels will generate 200,000 kWh of electricity per year. That’s enough to power the equivalent of around 30 households or 100 electric vehicles for a year.
We also support customers who generate their own solar power or want to get set up for solar. When they generate more than they use, we purchase the electricity back from them at a competitive rate.
Keen to harness the power of the sun and generate your own renewable energy?
Process heat electrification
Part of being a leader in sustainability means providing advice and expertise to others in a bid to reduce impacts and help combat climate change. The energy sector has an important part to play in converting other industrial users of fossil fuel technologies to renewables.Find out more