New Zealand businesses have begun certifying their energy use as renewable under a new product offered by Meridian Energy – supported by the New Zealand Body for Certificate Issuance – the NZECS.
HelloFresh, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Pernod Ricard Winemakers are among some of the first to adopt the Certified Renewable Energy product which allows them to purchase certification to match their electricity consumption with Meridian’s 100% renewable energy generation. So, whilst they won’t be getting their electricity directly from Meridian’s renewable energy generation sites, the electricity they use is matched on an annual basis with 100% renewable energy generated by Meridian.
Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are issued by the NZECS and are allocated to businesses to verify renewable energy generation equivalent to their consumption. Certified Renewable Energy also enables businesses to report their Scope 2 electricity emissions as zero*.
Meridian’s Chief Customer Officer, Lisa Hannifin says there is a groundswell of demand among New Zealand businesses for renewable energy procurement, which is already available in many countries including Australia.
“Despite 85% of our energy coming from renewable sources, New Zealand is one of the few developed countries where there has previously been no market or regulatory framework enabling the certification of renewable energy.
“In Australia businesses can certify, despite only a third of their energy coming from renewable sources, and their ongoing reliance on coal. As a 100% renewable generator, it makes sense for Meridian to give Kiwi businesses the same opportunity,” Lisa says.
Brett McKinnon, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Chief Operations Officer, says “Pernod Ricard Winemakers is excited to be partnering with Meridian to produce our wine with the help of 100% certified renewable electricity for all our Pernod Ricard Winemakers sites. We are especially proud to be able to announce this on World Environment Day – a day dedicated to preserving nature.”
“Being sustainable and responsible is an integral part of our New Zealand wine business and has been for many years, which makes this a natural next step for us. In alignment with our global ambition to create Good Times from a Good Place, our aim is to minimise our impact on the communities where we operate and preserve the environment for future generations to come.”
New Zealand’s electricity grid has presented challenges for certifying renewable energy use because electricity generated from hydro stations and wind farms is combined into a single wholesale pool with energy generated from non-renewable sources. Comparable markets overseas have addressed this by issuing RECs enabling businesses to guarantee generators have produced renewable energy at least equal to their total consumption.
The Palmerston North-based NZECS established the scheme to meet international precedents for RECs while working in the New Zealand context. After a successful pilot with Garage Project last year, Meridian’s Certified Renewable Energy certificates were also accepted by Toitū Envirocare in their audit of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare’s “carbonreduce” certification.
“Our renewable energy generation should be a selling point for Kiwi businesses. Meridian’s Certified Renewable Energy finally gives them the ability to leverage this when competing on the world stage and demonstrate their commitment to New Zealand’s low carbon future” Lisa says.
*Using the market-based reporting methodology outlined in the GHG Protocol
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Meridian Energy Media Team
MediaTeam@meridianenergy.co.nz, 0800 948 843