Environmental sustainability

Oxfam New Zealand promotes environmental sustainability throughout our work in our development programmes in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, internationally in our advocacy and campaigns and locally within our organisation.

Our development programmes

The communitiues we work with are already witnessing the serious impacts of climate change and environmental degradation as demonstrated by worsening food and water shortages, more health epidemics and devastated agricultural livelihoods.

We work on a number of levels to mitigate climate change and to help communities in developing countries reduce their climate vulnerability. Our work with communities in the Pacific and Southeast Asia includes sustainable agriculture and tree planting programmes, as well as developing appropriate adaptation and emergency preparedness measures.

Our advocacy and campaigns

We advocate on a national and international level for aggressive and measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions; for fair and binding international treaties; and for adequate climate change adaption finance that is additional exisiting internation development committments. 

Our internal operations

Throughout our work towards a safer, fairer and more sustainable world, Oxfam New Zealand is committed to minimising and continuously reducing the negative environmental impacts of our own operations.

Our annual Environmental Sustainability Programme lays out our goals, targets and activities for the coming year. Our performance towards meeting these goals and targets is independently monitored and measured to ensure that we are meeting the Programme’s objectives. A report on our annual progress is produced each year and is publicly available.

The Sustainability Programme is guided by the following policy principles, which apply to all activities undertaken by Oxfam New Zealand – in the field and in all our offices.

We’re also proud to walk the talk through Oxfam Trailwalker, which is at the forefront of sustainable event management in New Zealand. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 Oxfam Trailwalker was awarded Best Environmentally Sustainable event by the NZ Association of Events Professionals.

Policy principles

Across the organisation, Oxfam applies the principles of Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle to minimise our environmental impacts. Oxfam complies with all relevant environmental legislation and regulations.


Oxfam provides education and training to our staff and partners in sustainability issues to encourage them to take action to minimise the environmental impact of their activities, both at work and home


Oxfam continuously seeks ways to minimise greenhouse gas emissions from our air travel and transportation to/from the office. Oxfam uses alternatives to air travel whenever possible and air travel is only undertaken when there is a clear justification for the journey. Staff are encouraged to use public transport, cycle or walk.

Conservation of energy and water resources

Oxfam seeks to minimise greenhouse gas emissions from the use of energy in our offices, including by using renewable energy, low energy appliances and minimising energy wastage. Oxfam also seeks to minimise water wastage in our offices.

Logo: We CompostWaste management

Oxfam seeks to reduce our waste production by composting, reusing, repairing and recycling wherever possible. In particular, Oxfam works to reduce the use of paper for internal and external communications, and uses recycled paper wherever possible.

Purchasing policy

Oxfam aims to promote good environmental practices in its suppliers through our purchasing policies. Wherever possible, Oxfam sources products that are fair trade, organic, energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

Instep monitoring

Logo: Instep Gold AwardOur performance towards meeting these goals and targets is independently monitored by InStep. Download the latest report (2012-13).

We have been awarded the Instep Gold Certificate, which is awarded for achieving a verified emission reduction that meets or exceeds set goals in accordance with ISO 14064-1.

Arshabhi Rai of Get In Step said: "While working with Oxfam, their passion and commitment for the environment and community was found among individuals, participants and sponsors; they take care of the smallest detail to achieve greater sustainability."

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