The principle behind the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is that emitters of greenhouse gases must reduce their emissions or buy New Zealand Units (NZUs) to pay for those emissions. NZUs can also be earned through forestry plantings as they sequester carbon.

Forestry was chosen as the first sector to enter the ETS. Datacom responded to the New Zealand Government's Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) request for proposal (RFP) and, following a rigorous process, won the tender through our proven service, the ability to be a flexible partner, and our focus on continuous improvement.

Despite our expertise in delivering contact centre and business process outsourcing services to a range of national clients, there were going to be challenges implementing services under this unique legislation. Some of these challenges were around projections for telephony and transaction volumes; there was no historical data or foundation to build upon.

Complex eligibility rules also needed to be understood – not only by our staff but by the multiple government agencies involved in the process, as well as the forestry applicants.

Compounding these challenges was the installation of new MPI computer software, which had been designed but had not yet been installed.

However, we stepped up and worked closely with MPI to set up an extended team of experts.

A rolling 90-day forecast model for resourcing, which maximised savings for MPI, was implemented. Key to the success of this project was consistently demonstrating flexibility to adapt to changing business processes.

All key emission return deadlines were met by the team, demonstrating our ability to carve out a best practice foundation to build upon as the scheme grows and expands for this critical area of global concern.

All key emission return deadlines required by the new legalisation were met by the team.

Our flexibility to adapt to changing timelines and our close working partnership with MPI were instrumental in achieving an excellent outcome.

Both Datacom and MPI worked extremely well together to overcome new operational issues and to achieve the results required. MPI is very pleased with the Datacom approach to this new and complex work.

Clive Lilley, Director of Sustainable Programmes, MPI.

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