Q+A Business Podcast 7: NZ's largest logistics company moves away from fossil fuels

The head of the country's largest transport logistics company Mainfreight is backing the new government's push toward a carbon zero economy, that has less reliance on fossil fuels, although he stresses change won’t happen overnight.

Don Braid told Corin Dann in this week’s Q+A Business podcast that the days of being reliant on fossil fuels are numbered.

However he says "whether it's 2025 or 2030, it's going to take some time to get here and we shouldn't forget that New Zealand is a major exporter that relies on aircraft and shipping companies to move goods around the world".

The government is proposing to pass legislation that will help commit New Zealand to being a zero carbon economy by 2050.

Last week it also banned new oil and gas exploration.

Mr Braid says his firm has already made big adjustments, including putting much more freight on to rail, which has a much lower carbon footprint.

He says Mainfreight spent in excess of $40 million with Kiwi Rail this year and he hopes that with the new government's greater focus on rail (which he supports) it will be able to put more freight on rail in future.

As for its trucking fleet Mr Braid says while it can't get away from using diesel, it is trying to find suppliers of bio-diesel.

He says they are also trying to move to electric fork lifts and make greater use of solar power in their buildings.

Meanwhile, despite headline business confidence being weak in many surveys at the moment, Mr Braid says he's feeling optimistic about the economic outlook for New Zealand and he doesn't know why other businesses are grumpy.

He says for the transport sector the new government is actually providing more stability by being mode natural when it comes to transport infrastructure.

Mr Braid was a vocal critic of the last government’s focus on road infrastructure over rail.

Corin Dann is joined by Mainfreight managing director Don Braid this week. Source: 1 NEWS