Countdown wins at Green Ribbon Awards

7 June 2016: Countdown won the Resilience to Climate Change category at tonight’s Green Ribbon Awards for the supermarket’s work in increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

The Green Ribbon Awards, run by the Ministry for the Environment, recognise the outstanding contributions made by individuals, organisations, businesses and communities to protect and enhance New Zealand’s environment.

Countdown claimed the top gong in the Resilience to Climate Change category for its work in reducing carbon emissions. Countdown has kept carbon emissions to 2006 levels despite a 37 per cent increase in selling space. It equates to a 26 per cent reduction in carbon emissions per square metre of shop space. The reductions were achieved through the introduction of energy efficient refrigeration systems, LED lighting as well as freezers that reduce cold air loss.

Countdown’s General Manager of Corporate Affairs, James Walker, says tonight’s award is a testament to the ongoing efforts of the 18,000 strong Countdown team in introducing and maintaining responsible and sustainable business practices. 

“As a supermarket business with 184 stores nationwide, Countdown touches many peoples’ lives. Doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprint and operate sustainably within New Zealand’s communities is something our team is passionate about.

“This is more important than ever with the recent agreement in Paris. New Zealand businesses must play their role to help our country meet our future emission reduction targets. While this is challenging and will take time, we all have to start somewhere and Countdown will continue to actively work to improve.

“The finalists and winners at this year’s Green Ribbon Awards are making a significant inroads into protecting New Zealand’s environment and we are honoured to stand amongst them,” Mr Walker says.

The winning initiative is a part of the work Countdown does with communities. The latest Countdown Corporate Responsibility Report gives a full picture of the company’s community and environmental work, including the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal and the Free Fruit for Kids initiative. You can read the full report here.

A finalist in the Minimising Our Waste category, Countdown’s Food Rescue programme also donates food to community charity partners throughout New Zealand, including The Salvation Army, FairFood, 0800 HUNGRY, Just Zilch, FoodShare and Kaibosh. In the last financial year alone, Countdown donated more than $3.5 million of food, approximately 509 tonnes worth, to those in need.

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