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Zero Waste Aotearoa: Championing Waste Elimination

A familiar theme has cropped up in this year’s Low Carbon Challenge. Yes it’s true that all of our teams are good looking innovators capturing the spirit of sustainability, but that’s not what we’re trying to get at.

Something must be in the (swimmable and potable) water, as all six are championing waste minimisation. We’ve got software solutions for co-ops, ethical solutions for high-waste clothing, a self-sustaining honey collective and much, much more. For this reason we thought we’d introduce you to our chief partners in this area, an organisation that’s doing an awesome job to influence business and provide solutions to reduce waste - Zero Waste Aotearoa (ZWA).

When it comes to waste, the statistics stink. Each year, every New Zealander throws away 83 kilograms of used packaging. Over the same period, food waste costs Wellington households nearly $106 million and our waste to landfill spews out 52,700 tons worth​ of greenhouse gas emissions! Waste is the symbol of society’s inefficiency and the resources we needlessly throw away.

Something’s got to change, and ZWA have a fair idea about how this might happen. A collaborative network across business, government and non-profit sectors, they're driving the greater community towards zero waste.

The ZWA team know all about what New Zealanders waste, and what it costs. They believe that we can go beyond minimising our waste, and have set a stretch goal to in fact eliminate it.

How so? ZWA is enticing our innovating minds to establish creative, problem solving initiatives by boosting enterprises championing the zero waste concept. This is achieved via three mandates: raising awareness and promoting interest in zero waste ventures; providing the tools and expertise to develop their strategic initiative; and connecting parties in the zero waste community. Check out ZWA's website to learn more, and see the awesome organisations that have already got on board.

ZWA has been fantastic partners for us. Over the course of the Low Carbon Challenge, they've worked directly with our teams to help realise their emission reduction potential, offered valuable insights on their business activities, and contributed significant in-kind investment through our Jam Day and other workshop events.

We know the Low Carbon Challenge teams value ZWA's input and industry connections. While waste may not be the glamorous solution to climate issues, it’s a simple but often-forgotten path to meaningful behaviour change. The positives? It's something that we can all champion as individuals, businesses and the wider community.

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