From our commitment to use only ingredients and manufacturing processes that respect the environment, to our promise to support Aotearoa, New Zealand’s precious biodiversity for generations to come, protecting, educating and enhancing our place, people and planet is our driving force.
We pledge to be carbon negative and biodiversity positive. What does this mean? Commitments made at COP-26 by governments and corporations recently projected global warming of 2.4°C; however, even if all carbon emissions ceased today, we would still exceed the COP’s target increase of 1.5°C by 2050, due to legacy carbon held in the atmosphere. We must therefore go beyond carbon net zero to reach this target. An accelerated carbon sequestration programme that actively removes excess carbon from the atmosphere is therefore necessary. On top of that, such a programme must recognise the value of biodiversity in maximizing carbon absorption to combat climate change. Not only is such a model an offset requirement, it is a planetary imperative.
What are we doing about it?
To deliver on our pledge to go beyond net zero, we go further than the reduce, reuse and recycle approach, but also take our responsibility to conserve and rejuvenate biodiverse, native ecosystems so that they can absorb more carbon than we use. At KAEA we take a strategic approach to restoring ecosystems. This means that we don’t just plant trees - we are scientific and conscious about exactly what tree we plant, at what time, and what location as to maximize the health and biodiversity of the entire ecosystem.
To date, we have planted nearly half a million native trees in the Northland of New Zealand and transformed ecosystems to be biodiverse habitats for local flora and fauna. At our inception in 2004 we had only 14 bird species present but that number has increased to 71 bird species following our conservation work, including many that are rare or endangered. To put this in context, this is more than many national parks in New Zealand. The wing on our packaging is from the Tūi bird, one of the native species that returned to our land following our restoration work, and is a homage to the value birds bring to ecosystem health.
Our conservation work has been recognised through multiple awards. In 2020 we were voted the Most Sustainable Business in New Zealand. That year, we won the Restoring Nature award from the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network, and were named the supreme winner across all categories. In 2021, we once again won the Restoring Nature Award for our work in developing and implementing the Biodiversity Value Index (BVI), a methodology used to quantify the value of individual species and overall biodiversity in an ecosystems capacity to absorb and store carbon.
Our business is run by nature, for nature, and we are committed to continuing to challenge ourselves and the industry to find more sustainable ways to bring to you the products you need, in a way the planet can cope with.