Noisy diesel trucks are starting to be replaced by quiet and efficient rubbish trucks powered by electricity. It is world-leading green technology, being implemented by a local New Zealand team, with the potential to be used in other cities around the world.
"FDI is playing a key role in improving New Zealand’s environmental impact across a range of industries”
It’s also a surprising demonstration of the benefits of foreign investment.
Talk to any sovereign wealth fund or fund manager investing in New Zealand and they will say how clear environmental goals and practices are of vital importance in their investment decisions.
Increasingly, foreign direct investment (FDI) is also seeking the same thing.
Traditionally seen as providing macro-economic benefits that fuel growth and productivity, providing employment and expanding the economy, today there are many examples of FDI seeking to invest and build sustainable businesses, particularly those with strong environmental objectives.
With its clean and green brand, New Zealand is well placed to attract investors looking to support businesses, technologies and practices that reduce environmental impacts.
Green investment makes sense on many levels. Demonstrating a commitment to the environment is now a requirement for any significant industrial or commercial investment worldwide. Suppliers, shareholders and customers are all demanding transparent environmental practices under environmental, social and governance criteria.
When it comes to convincing regulators about investing in New Zealand, having strong environmental credentials and a commitment to contributing to sustainable development is a major point in any investor’s favour.
Consumers are also more environmentally conscious, with sustainability a key factor in buying decisions. As such, there are considerable competitive advantages for investors being environmentally conscious.
Taking that a step further, some companies are using FDI to not only green their own operations but develop innovative green technologies that are transferrable and transformative. In addition to investing and developing new technologies and business practices, these businesses are also reviewing their supply chains and are demanding similar practices.
FDI in New Zealand is playing a leading role in this regard with strong demand from foreign capital for investments with the potential to develop green technologies. This is occurring over a number of sectors and with strong momentum. We’ve seen it ourselves across a number of ANZ clients.
This year, Christchurch became the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to have its side-load waste collection trucks powered by electricity as part of a pilot by their contractor, Waste Management, to transition towards a plug-in electric collection fleet.
This was just two years after Waste Management was bought by Beijing Capital Group, who undertook to invest in green technology as a stated benefit to the company and the New Zealand economy.
Waste Management’s conversion programme began with both trucks and light vehicles. Out of a fleet of 200, around 80 will be transitioned by the end of next year, a number the company plans to increase.
Their trucks travel around 140 kilometres a day, stopping and starting to pick up around 1200 bins each. While that made them a perfect use case for electric power, there were no manufacturers offering electric trucks in the market that met their requirements.
Rather than wait for suitable trucks to become available, Waste Management identified a conversion partner, EMOSS in The Netherlands, who developed collection trucks with electric drivetrains.
In addition, the company’s sustainable landfill and energy parks can capture more than 95 per cent of the gas emitted from waste as it breaks down. Their generators turn this gas into electricity which is fed into the grid. The Redvale Landfill and Energy Park is Auckland’s largest renewable energy generator, generating enough electricity to power more than 12,000 homes.