Blog Image


Episode 2: Green tech

Home Insights Episode 2: Green tech

Published on:

Published on: November 08, 2023


Please note, this is a script from Episode Two of our video series, the digital download: 2023 - Tech year in review, which you can access here.

Welcome to the Digital Download. In this episode we're going to be looking at some of the green tech trends and highlights of 2023.

Opportunities in green tech

Increasing global concern surrounding climate change, including the severe weather events that have dominated global headlines in 2023, are driving a wave of advancements in green tech and renewable tech. 
There is huge opportunity in the climate change space for technology and data solutions, supporting both the climate related disclosures regime but also mitigation and adaptation more broadly around Aotearoa.

Renewable energy

Our renewable energy resources have created real opportunity for New Zealand to lead the way in facilitating low-carbon, energy-intensive industry. One example is green data centres, which present significant opportunity for New Zealand to export data services overseas. We've seen huge investment in New Zealand from a number of the big players around the world in this space in 2023, including the first hyperscale data centre in New Zealand to achieve the net carbon zero Toitū certification.

AI and the environment

AI applications like wildlife monitoring tools are already being used in New Zealand to help support biodiversity and to better understand our ecosystems. These applications can provide critical near real-time information and can provide more accurate predictions for the future.
It is also predicted that AI, when combined by quantum computing, will help us solve some of our most complex environmental challenges, such as climate change.
One of the things that I'm really excited about is the development of digital twin technology. This is basically where you get a tech model of a city or area and that can help you to map out the impacts of climate change on that city or area. This can be a powerful tool both for organisations and for local governments in seeking to understand the physical risks from climate change.

ESG reporting obligations drive demand

Green financing, societal demands and sustainability-related regulations are all driving ESG reporting, targets, and changes in practices. More than 90 percent of S&P 500 companies now publish ESG reports in some form.
New Zealand has ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, including achieving net zero emissions by 2050. From January next year, around 200 New Zealand entities will be required by law to report on their carbon emissions, including those that come from offshore supply chains. 

Tech can play a role in supporting organisations to meet their obligations under the climate related disclosures regime. And this goes beyond simply measuring emissions, but we are also seeing the emergence of tools that can help businesses to identify their risks and opportunities, and those are continually evolving alongside guidance from the XRB and FMA as to the legislative requirements. 
With more stringent obligations and pressures on organisations to monitor and report on their carbon footprint, we're increasingly seeing clients putting ESG front and centre when procuring new technology services, and this plays out across selection criteria, diligence, contractual obligations, as well as ongoing compliance monitoring and reporting.

Coming up

Next week we'll be discussing Web3 and the metaverse, including insights from Courtney Whitford at Meta. We look forward to you joining us.

This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any advice or further information on the subject matter of this newsletter, please contact the partner/solicitor in the firm who normally advises you, or alternatively contact one of the partners listed below.

Talk to one of our experts:
Related Expertise