Phantom ghosts on carbon emissions

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AUCKLAND, Monday: Phantom Billstickers is the only carbon net zero street poster company in Aotearoa, but the 40-year-old outdoor advertising business is never one to be content with the status quo.

In 2022, Phantom made a commitment to a sustainable future, both within the business and for the planet. By envisioning a future with minimal environmental impact, Phantom persistently pursues the reduction of its carbon emissions.

Whether it be the government’s broader outcomes for procurement or customer requests, becoming accountable for carbon emissions is becoming a table stake, with 81 percent of New Zealand consumers wanting businesses to do more to reduce their environmental impact.

An early adopter that has already integrated many positive practices to production such as GreenGuard inks, poster frames made from plantation-grown pine and paper traceable to sustainable plantations, Phantom is now undertaking new tactics to get closer to its vision of taking out more carbon than it generates. 

Phantom’s most recent report showed that in 2023 10 tonnes of poster paper was diverted from landfill from its Auckland office alone. Phantom edges ever nearer to their vision of being the world’s most sustainable Out of Home advertiser.

“I’m proud that a locally owned operator is leading the way for our industry.”

From mid-2023 it began switching off digital posters between the hours of midnight and 5am, estimating this single action reduces a site’s energy usage by 20 percent at a stroke, while having almost no effect on viewership (that is, what clients are paying for).

It has also started using New Zealand Courier’s new free emissions reporting to find further efficiencies in its operations.

CEO Robin McDonnell says it fits with the company’s ethos and the team has already implemented changes based on the data.

“I’m proud that a locally owned operator is leading the way for our industry.

“Since getting the reports from New Zealand Couriers, we’ve changed how we group items together for delivery and we source local materials for special builds rather than sourcing in Auckland and then sending around the country.”

NZ Couriers is owned by listed company Freightways and says its free reporting was driven by customer demand in sectors from advertising to charities to listed entities, with 100 companies now signed up including Forest & Bird to listed entity Ebos.

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