We’re striving to address how production, supply and sales impact on and enhance the environment with a focus on packaging, water quality and climate change.
We are committed to taking action, both to reduce our impact as an industry, and as importantly, to prepare for the impacts climate change will have on us.
Zespri has completed its first Climate Change Adaptation Plan – Adapting to Thrive in a Changing Climate – outlining how the kiwifruit industry intends to adapt to a changing climate in New Zealand and in its offshore growing locations.
Developed in consultation with growers and the wider kiwifruit industry, the Climate Change Adaptation Plan establishes a framework for the industry’s long-term approach to adaptation and is a response to Zespri’s Climate Change Risks and Opportunities Report, which was published in 2021.
This report identified our climate risks in all our growing regions around the world, aligning with the best-practice standard, the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD).
A key part of the kiwifruit industry’s adaptation response is providing growers with information about how climate change could affect different growing regions. As a first step, we have prepared regional factsheets for New Zealand growing regions, which also give growers suggestions for changes they can make to future-proof their orchards, as well as insights into actions the industry is taking to prepare.
Regional factsheets are available for the following New Zealand growing regions: Northland, Auckland & Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisbourne & Hawkes Bay, and Nelson/Tasman. A summary of the Climate Change Adaptation Plan is also available here.
Zespri’s Climate Change Strategy underpins our approach to guiding the kiwifruit industry to a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. The strategy focuses on playing our part to reduce emissions, adapting to the impacts of climate change and supporting our industry to respond. Find out more here.
We understand the contribution we make to climate change as an industry quantifying our footprint here. We are now exploring the opportunities we have to reduce our impact. This includes areas such as shipping, packaging, cool store operations and fertiliser use on our orchards. We are also investing in learning about what we can do to improve the carbon we store in soil and through our growing systems.
We have measured our core emissions at Zespri and publish these in our Annual Report each year. An assured greenhouse gas emissions inventory report for the year ended 31 March 2023 is available here.
We’re moving away from the ‘take, make and dispose’ model of production to one where we reduce our packaging footprint.
During 2020, we undertook life cycle assessments of all our consumer and transport packaging to better understand their environmental footprint. This has included assessing the recyclability, compostability and reusability of our packaging as well as the use of recycled plastic in our packaging.
Building on this, we are now working with our customers to implement trials in several key markets – Japan, US, Europe and Australia. We are also working with our suppliers to trial better alternatives to fruit labels so we can meet merging regulatory and consumer expectations. This will help us make the critical decisions needed to re-model our packaging and supply chains to reach our ambitious packaging targets.
Also relating to our packaging targets is our commitment to reducing office waste and single use plastics across our global offices. We successfully piloted a new system in the New Zealand office, leading to more than 50 percent reduction in waste to landfill and started to roll this out globally during 2021.
Performance measure for Zespri’s packaging targets are published in Zespri’s Annual Report in accordance with the Basis of Preparation Document available here. These performance measures have been subject to Limited Assurance, and the Independent Limited Assurance Report is available here.
Our industry’s water strategy is focused on nutrient management, efficient water use and improving soil health.
Over the past year, we’ve made steady progress, establishing the foundations needed to meet our industry water targets. This has been guided by A Water Strategy for the Kiwifruit Industry, developed in 2019 in partnership with New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, Zespri, Māori Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated (MKGI), Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ) and growers. This sets out a number of objectives on how we can best manage water on orchards.
We’ve expanded our multi-year science research and innovation projects to answer key questions on water and nutrients on kiwifruit orchards. We share this knowledge with our growers - more than 400 New Zealand growers have taken part in irrigation and low nutrient workshops during the year. We’re also working with the government to ensure freshwater requirements can be delivered in a way that meets the best outcome for our growers and our water resources.
To find out more about our approach to water click here.