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Make a difference with the products you buy

28 August 2020
sustainability environment business

When it comes to making a difference to the environment, our individual actions matter. The products we buy and the services we use all contribute - whether positively or negatively - to global sustainability. 

That's why it's important to choose companies who are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and curb unnecessary waste.

NZ Plumber asked leading New Zealand plumbing and gas industry manufacturers and suppliers what initiatives they have in place to improve sustainability of products, packaging and manufacturing methods.

Here’s what they told us.


Kohler NZ is committed to becoming Net Carbon Zero by 2035 - you can read more here.

The recently launched new Englefield shower wall packaging is more environmentally sustainable, including improvements across four key sustainability measures by over 50%: (CO2), water use, solid waste and toxicity


Allproof domestic channel and pits are moulded in NZ using 100% recycled polypropylene (PP) plastic, which is locally sourced wherever possible. Allproof are also undertaking various other initiatives to reduce the impact of product manufacturing on NZ’s environment.


GWA produced the world’s first dual flush toilet in 1980 and has gone on to create water-saving innovations including:

  • Caroma Smartflush® technology, reducing water consumption to 4.5L (full) and 3L (half) per flush
  • Caroma Smart Command® Eco System of intelligent products to enable building managers to monitor and control water use.


Recycling 25 tonnes of plastic drainage pipe waste earned the building products division of Iplex Pipelines NZ a commendation and runner-up placing in the Efficiency Champion category at the 2019 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards. Their efforts mean PE plastic waste is recycled for household bottles instead of bottles being made of virgin plastic.


Buteline aim to recycle, regrind and reuse in manufacturing their NZ-made products. All waste is recycled where possible, including cardboard, polymer regrind, brass and aluminium.


Rheem NZ is committed to environmental improvement and preventing pollution—and develop hot water solutions that reduce waste and minimise environmental impact. In 2019, Rheem announced its specific global targets for 2025 of:

  • Launching a line of heating, cooling and water heating products with a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas footprint
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and achieving zero waste to landfill in its global manufacturing operations.


The Teletrac Navman software dashboard can help businesses run a more sustainable fleet. A range of driver behaviours impact fuel usage: harsh acceleration and braking, speeding and excessive idling all lead to extra carbon output. Data collected by Teletrac Navman’s GPS-based fleet tracking system can be used to measure, reduce and offset a fleet’s carbon emissions. Businesses can measure actions by vehicle or by driver and set goals to reduce poor on-road behaviours.


Marley products are designed with water conservation and reuse in mind. The Marley Curve® leaf diverter and Marley Twist® compact rainwater diverter allow homeowners to access clean and free rainwater—good for the environment and the pocket. They also run a recycling scheme for industry partners and homeowners to return used PVC.


Initiatives in place to minimise the impact of waste generated by their activities include:

  • Providing waste packaging to the local community to construct garden beds for growing vegetables
  • Becoming a recycling hub for all batteries used in the business and by staff at home.


Felton are phasing out plastic from their freight materials and product packaging, starting with removing the plastic blister pack for one of their top, iconic products—the Feltonmix Wallset—and replacing it with a recycled paper fibre mould that is similar to egg cartons.

This blog has been adapted from an article in NZ Plumber magazine, Feb/March 2020 issue.

You can read the NZ Plumber magazine here

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