Tauranga is well-known as the fastest growing city in New Zealand, with a population that has grown by 60% over the last 22 years. To manage this growth and to ensure the local economy remains competitive, a strong sustainability position is essential. Priority One has developed an Environmental Sustainability Action Plan to support local businesses and the economy to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Priority One Environmental Sustainability Action Plan is being developed in partnership with local businesses who have engaged in climate action workshops and meetings, to understand their current environmental strategies and any barriers or support needed to help accelerate sustainability actions.
Marissa Nikora, Priority One Sustainability Lead says, “It’s fantastic to see so many Bay of Plenty business leaders committed to climate action. However, we acknowledge it can be a challenging space. Climate change will have an impact on virtually every business in the region, so it’s essential we work together on a good plan to safeguard the sustainability of our environment and the economy.”
To date, in addition to the climate action meetings, a series of knowledge sharing events covering topics such as sustainable transport, infrastructure and construction, decarbonisation, and greenwashing have been held to improve knowledge about environmentally friendly options for business.
A recent EV Showcase Event, in partnership with Farmer Autovillage, GoTo Car Share and UBCO, brought Priority One members together to highlight the sustainable transport alternatives that exist within Tauranga for local people and businesses.
“Given 74% of Tauranga’s carbon emissions come from transport, it was a great opportunity for businesses to learn about some of the alternative transport options available when transitioning corporate fleets to EVs or using new technologies such as car sharing solutions” says Marissa.
In 2023, the Priority One team will continue work with key industry sectors to collaboratively develop sector environmental sustainability plans. These will take a deliberate, industry-led approach to supporting large impact sustainability projects. The first of these environmental sector plans will focus on the construction sector and is underway for early next year.
“The development of our Tauranga CBD Blueprint has highlighted the opportunity to work with the development and construction community to ensure our city centre is a model for what’s possible when planning and building an environmentally friendly city. The new TCC administration building is a great example; it will be the largest mass timber office building in New Zealand, leading the way in sustainable design principles”, says Marissa.