Corys Sustainability

Corys wants to help electrical contractors actively contribute to that effort, promoting and implementing readily available solutions to help tackle climate change.

Corys thrives on heightening awareness of sustainability issues within our company, as well as within our ecosystem of suppliers and customers by:

  • Improving our triple bottom line: financial, social and environmental.
  • Taking initiatives to make our operations more efficient and less impacting on the planet.
  • Providing our customers with solutions for energy efficiency, electrical mobility (EV charging infrastructure) and renewable energy.
  • Aligning with suppliers leading the industry with sustainable solutions.



Sustainable Strategy

Corys developed a comprehensive sustainability strategy in 2016-2017: an action plan with 16 dimensions, aiming at reducing emissions from its operations and at bringing to market more sustainable solutions. Corys’ management team demonstrated leadership at a time lacking policy support; contributing to NZ’s commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change and helping the electrical industry become more sustainable.

Corys started measuring its carbon footprint in March 2017, following the GHG protocol guidelines and setting up a reporting framework to be ready for extra financial reporting by 2019. Preliminary results indicate a footprint of 1.155 M tons of CO2e in 2017, down about 7% from 1.242 M tons in 2016. Corys estimates to currently capture half of its total emissions, working with its suppliers to collect data on aspects of its operations currently not captured and reach 100% by 2019. About 2 thirds of those emissions fall under scope 3 – or ‘value chain emissions’ down and upstream – and those are where Corys focuses efforts to reduce impacts, with a double bottom line approach.

Corys uses the Brave Gen platform to monitor its different impacts, at the overall company, branch and cost centre levels. Corys measures its activity levels (kWh consumed, tons of waste generated, KM travelled, fuel consumed, etc.), the costs associated and CO2e generated by those different aspects of its operations. In 2018, Corys is expending the carbon footprinting to finalize a reliable baseline of the last 2 years and is determining targets for reduction at each company level, helping teams contribute to emissions reductions.

Sustainable Operations

Corys Environmental Policy serves as guiding principles for environmental stewardship. 

Electricity purchase: in 2017, Corys switched to NZ’s only 100% CarbonZero renewable electricity provider – Ecotricity – for all of its locations, avoiding each year the emissions of 102 tons of CO2e and offsetting carbon credits used to protect 20 ha of native bush in the Hinewai forest of the South Island.

Electricity consumption: in January 2018, Corys launched its Energy Management Plan debut, working on 2 pilot sites to drastically reduce its overall electricity consumption of 1.23 MW. Lessons learned throughout the year serve as basis for the planning of nationwide energy efficient retrofits, define targets for all of Corys’ sites and enable all branches to take steps in 2019.

Company fleet: in June 2018, Corys incorporated the first Electric Vehicle (EV) to its fleet – 160 vehicles strong, substituting a Ford Focus diesel with a full electric version, preventing each year a pollution requiring to plant 80 trees or to replace 100 incandescent lamps with LEDs to be offset. Leanings from this evaluation period will help Corys electrify 30% of its fleet by 2020 and help lead the charge in the electrical industry, supporting EV adoption by building professionals.

Waste recycling: in 2017, Corys generated 296 tons of waste across all of its locations, up from 249 in 2016, a 19% increase compared with a 10% increase in sales. Out of those quantities, 68% ended in landfills in 2017, up from 62% in 2016. In order to reduce this trend of increased environmental impacts, Corys currently is finalizing a national contract with a waste services company, in order to drastically reduce waste going to landfill. The target will be to reach 50% of waste generated by Corys to being recycled in 2018 and 75% in 2019.
Corys also implemented a nationwide fluorescent tube / lamps recycling program with Interwaste in 2015, a nationwide recycling program for printers’ toners / cartridges in April 2018 and is currently exploring options for the nationwide recycling of batteries, as well as hard plastics.  

Reducing packaging: Corys replaced its single used plastic bags supplied to customers with biodegradable plastic bags in 2017, also piloting programs in select branches with reusable shopping bags and safety cranes as sustainable substitutes to single use plastic bags.

Stationary procurement: Corys is committing to increasingly order consumables ensuring superior environmental and social stewardship, ranging anywhere from recycled toilet paper to compostable shipping labels or organic fair trade coffee. In 2016, 19% of stationary products Corys ordered included a sustainable credential, 32% in 2017 and we are on track to reach 50% in 2018.

Sustainable Suppliers

Corys imposes a strict screening of all of its suppliers, requiring agreeing on Trading Agreement that cover key aspects of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), such as governance, sustainability, anti-corruption and health & safety practices. Trading agreements are reviewed each year and failure to comply with agreed terms can lead to termination of the relationship if appropriate measures are not taken to improve practices. 

Corys also scrutinizes products from its suppliers sold to its customers, requiring compliance with NZ standards and regulations for all of the products traded. Corys suppliers are required to provide Supplier Declarations of Conformity (SDOCs) to capture compliance information for each product. If the information provided raises suspicion – particularly from non-manufacturing suppliers, Corys sends these products to Spectrum Laboratories for additional testing. Test results determine compliance – and rejection – or not of the products; additional steps can be taken to reach compliance, but impossibility for the supplier to undertake them yields product rejection by Corys.

Eventually, Corys requires its suppliers to fill a Declaration of Sustainability. Its first section covers Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives taken by the supplier, including – but not limited to – all sustainability certifications, community programs and supply chain initiatives (includes ethical sourcing of materials).  Find out more.

Social Responsibility

Corys recognizes and promotes efforts of its customers promoting energy savings: we proudly sponsored the Energy Efficiency Award of the 2017 Master Electricians’ Excellence Awards. Corys rewards projects demonstrating energy efficient design, implementing renewable energies and conserving resources. Special interest is given to award projects including GreenStar, HomeStar, NabersNZ, ISO 50001 or Energy Mark certifications.

In May 2017, more than 20 Corys employees volunteered to plant 3 000 native trees and plants across the country (Atiu Creek, Porirua Quarantine Island, The Avon). This translates into 9 300 tons of carbon pollution dispersed over the lifetime of the plants, for NZ communities and the planet to benefit. Corys demonstrated leadership in the Sonepar group, winning an award for environmental initiative of the year and will take more conservation initiatives in the future

Corys is giving back to the community with on-going support to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and highlighted each year during Corys Blue September. This initiative is recognized internationally as best corporate fundraising practice and receives growing contributions from Corys generous customers, suppliers and staff members. Find out more.