New Climate Action Toolbox will enable business action on climate change and help to overcome the 80% of SMEs not knowing where to get started.

For the first time, smaller businesses will have access to a free, comprehensive tool to help them act on climate. The Climate Action Toolbox(external link) is live from today on

The Toolbox was created by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) in partnership with ourselves, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), EECA, Waka Kotahi (NZTA), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, BNZ, Meridian Energy and DNA.

EECA CEO Andrew Caseley said the collaboration between the organisations meant the tool would provide the best information, resources and advice to users.

"EECA has worked with most of New Zealand's largest energy users and emitters for years, and so has amassed a huge amount of knowledge that enables businesses to embrace efficient and renewable energy in order to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions.

"We wanted to extend than knowledge to the SME sector, as our research has shown there's a desire to take action, but there's little knowledge about where to start and, understandably, businesses are feeling rocked by the last year’s events and are focused on survival."

Small and medium businesses make up around 97% of all New Zealand businesses, and contribute about 35% of GDP. "When you multiply all of those businesses taking action together, that's a huge impact," Mr Caseley said.

EECA's research1 shows that while business leaders recognise the importance of taking climate action, just 12% have looked for information on climate change action, and 38% said their business just had too many other priorities right now. Only 19% said they knew where to find information.

Post-Covid, there's also a growing operational efficiency challenge for SMEs. Sixty percent of businesses describe themselves as "surviving", and nearly two-thirds of those aren't sure they'll make it.

"If these companies can take just a few minutes to complete the self-assessment in the toolbox, they'll find a win-win. We know around three-quarters of businesses are focused on reducing costs, and the tool will allow them to identify areas where they can be more efficient, and therefore cut costs, while reducing their impact on climate change."

How the Climate Action Toolkit works

The tool provides tailored advice and support in five major impact areas: 

  • Moving people
  • Moving goods
  • Office operations
  • Site operations and equipment
  • Designing products

Businesses first go through an assessment to identify impact areas relevant to them. Under each impact area, businesses are presented with specific actions they can take along with a step-by-step implementation guide.

There are over 40 actions, including switching to electric vehicles and shared transport, limiting non-essential travel, installing LED lighting, being energy efficient, and converting to clean energy equipment.

Businesses will also be provided with case studies of other businesses in their community undertaking actions under relevant impact areas.

Use the Climate Action Toolbox(external link)

Find out more about the Climate Action Toolbox(external link)

1TRA Business Research October-December 2020