Carbon South Limited

Helping businesses create a sustainable future

  • Bruce Scott

    Bruce Scott encourages companies to look at how sustainability can help their business.

Carbon South Limited is a carbon emissions consultancy service for small to medium-sized New Zealand businesses.
Owner Bruce Scott spent the 1980s and 1990s working in Japan and Hong Kong as a financial markets trader, but it was when he returned to New Zealand in 2002 that his interest in sustainability issues was piqued.

“I was working in the financial management team of the Te Kopi Bio-diversity project, a wildlife sanctuary located in Pelorus Sound looking after the financial assets,” explains Bruce. “I grew increasingly interested in how businesses could manage their approach to sustainability and I established Carbon South in 2008 to offer carbon auditing services specifically designed for SMEs. A carbon audit is a great place to start on the sustainability journey – it highlights areas that need attention and has the brilliant spinoff of creating efficiencies within the business.”

Energy, air travel and vehicles are common sources of emissions. “For busy business owners these just appear as monthly expenses,” says Bruce. “What I do is look past the numbers and highlight areas where businesses can minimise their carbon emissions. In this way a carbon audit provides another useful Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Reducing waste or turning off computers at night saves money – it’s often very simple fixes that reduce carbon emissions and make good business sense as well.”

Bruce purchases carbon credits from “worthwhile projects” to offset a business’s unavoidable emissions. “One such project is in Marlborough where a farmer is working to revert half of his land back into natural vegetation. This activity earns carbon credits, which I buy. Burning carbon creates a deficit and the purchase of a carbon credit balances the equation,” he says.

Addressing sustainability can also bring intangible benefits, as Bruce puts it “the stuff that can’t be measured” such as increased staff morale and retention. “Young people are very aware of global warming and environmental issues. If one company is doing something about sustainability and another is not, which company are they more likely to want to work for?”

Although it’s voluntary, Bruce sees more SMEs each year addressing sustainability. “Business owners understand that clients are demanding more accountability in this area.

Considering the cost savings and marketing benefits on offer, it’s a practical approach to sustainability,” he says. In the Moore Stephens Markhams office in Christchurch, director Andrew Brady is leading the company on its sustainability journey. “Andrew is a bit of a visionary when it comes to sustainability,” says Bruce. “He has always been very interested in the process; in protecting his clients’ businesses into the future and has been supportive of Carbon South since the start.”

Andrew handles all of Carbon South’s financial work and has been doing so since the company was established. He oversees the finances on a monthly basis, as well as doing the annual accounts and providing business advice.

Bruce has taken Moore Stephens Markhams Christchurch through a carbon audit process and there have been positive changes as a result. “I congratulate them on starting the process – they are leading the way.”

Published Spring 2013.

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