The New Zealand Government’s three pillars of sustainability initiative is attached.

The Three Pillars are:

  • environmental
  • economic, and
  • social

In March 2005 Government Departments were advised that future Government supply contracts must address the question of sustainability.

View the m-o-environment-letter

EcoCover mulch mat is fully accredited and Licensed to use the Ministry for the Environment’s auditing standard for sustainability, the Environmental Choice Label.

The sustainability attributes of EcoCover are:

  • Reduce paper in landfill
  • Reduce labour costs e.g. removal of other mulch systems from soil
  • >60% of our NZ workforce were once long term unemployed
  • Reduce plastic in landfill
  • Reduce landfill operating cost
  • EcoCover offers skill development based employment
  • 100% biodegradable
  • Reduce landfill usage
  • A reduction in landfill waste impacts on all communities
  • Reduce water usage
  • Eliminate herbicide cost and wastage
  • Improved worker health in eliminating herbicide use
  • Reduce weeds / weed seeds
  • Eliminate fertilizer cost and wastage
  • Improved visual landscape
  • Eliminate herbicide use and consequent contamination
  • Reduce transport [fuel / labour] costs e.g. deliveries, replanting
  • Preserving the environment for future generations
  • Improve soil health
  • Improve plant growth in terms of quality and yield
  • No non renewable resources are used in manufacture
  • Safe and natural – IFOAM / AgriQuality organic accredited
  • Reduce plant mortality and losses
  • A conservation fund provides for large, new tree plantings
  • Preserve groundwater purity
  • Reduce water use significantly
  • The company is actively concerned with the welfare of society at large
  • Reduce plastic contamination in soil
  • Locally manufactured from local waste stream
  • The company has a collective code of ethical behaviour towards the environment, its customers, its employees and its investors
  • Manufactured from renewable resources
  • Not subject to price fluctuations such as oil derived products
  • Every business decision will be weighed against these three pillars of sustainability
  • Environmental Choice Label (MfE) accredited Licensee
  • Does not require removal from the soil
  • EcoCover achieves the Zero Waste goal subscribed to by >65% of all New Zealand Local Authorities
  • Improve the visual amenity landscape
  • Eliminate or significantly reduce post planting maintenance
  • EcoCover only buys New Zealand made machinery
  • The biodegrading post consumer waste product becomes worm caste, embracing 100% the Zero Waste ideal
  • EcoCover is absolutely cost effective
  • The EcoCover plant is strategically located to provide jobs for those with few employment prospects
  • The manufacturing process is low energy, emitting only small quantities of water vapour to the atmosphere
  • All product performance claims are independently validated by two Universities
  • Product development is always measured against future employee opportunity for those most disadvantaged in society
  • The Research and Development programme only addresses product derivatives that comply with our Zero Waste philosophy
  • EcoCover has a major export opportunity supplying manufacturing plants globally
  • The patented EcoCover technology is leading edge

Ministry for the Environment

November 2004


What is Govt3?

The “Govt” stands for government, and the “3” stands for the “three pillars of sustainability” – environmental, social and economic. The Govt3 programme, launched in November 2003 through the Ministry for the Environment, aims to help government agencies improve the environmental sustainability of their activities.

The Government is committed to sustainable development through the Sustainable Development Programme of Action, released in January 2003. A key approach of the Programme of Action is that the government should provide a leadership role to the community. But government leadership doesn’t just mean setting policy, it’s about leading by example and showing others that we are implementing sustainability thinking in our own operations.

The Govt3 programme was formed with the assistance of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and New Zealand Police. The Ministry for the Environment has invited agencies that want to take voluntary practical steps towards operational sustainability and help create tools for others to use, to join an interagency group. So far 35 central government and related agencies have been involved.

Govt3 aims to make it easy for government agencies to “walk the talk” and minimise their energy use, materials use, amount of waste sent to landfill and carbon dioxide emissions, and to buy products that are better for the environment. A wide range of topics have been covered at well-attended bi-monthly meetings, and there are currently active project groups include in-house waste reduction, publishing, vehicles and sustainable buildings.

Govt3 section in the Ministry for the Environment’s website

This was launched at the end of June 2004. It will be progressively populated with a range of practical tools, case studies and links. It is at: