Investing Spotlight: Meridian Energy

by Verve

At Verve, we believe in radical transparency and investing for good. That’s why we want to show you all of the amazing companies you can be invested in with your superannuation. 

While it can be common to feel powerless in the face of great global challenges like climate change, the reality is that women in Australia already control over $1.2 trillion in wealth through their superannuation and other assets. That’s more than enough to fund our economy’s transition away from fossil fuels to renewables by 2050, many times over. Now that’s the kind of system we want to be part of.

This month, meet: Meridian Energy Limited (Meridian) — a power company based in Aotearoa New Zealand that generates electricity through 100% renewable sources, including wind, water and sun. Let’s find out more about them.

What does Meridian do?

Meridian believes that decarbonisation is key for the future of our planet. With seven hydro stations, five wind farms, and solar farms across the country, they are NZ’s largest renewable generator. They are a power company who believes in doing the best they can for people and the planet.

Sharing Verve’s philosophy that generating affordable, clean, renewable power is key to a more equitable and sustainable future, Meridian’s goal is to make the renewable energy they generate as accessible as possible to households, businesses and industries.

What we love about Meridian

There’s a lot to love about Meridian. For starters, they are carbon neutral across their operational emissions. And they are also a company leading the way on diversity and inclusion

As an accredited member of the Gender Tick programme, Rainbow Tick programme, and Accessibility Tick programme — they are dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive and equal workplace.

“Around half (~46%) of employees across the Meridian Group are women. 57% of our Board directors and 40% of our Executive leadership team below the CEO are women. But like many organisations, women are still under-represented at senior management levels below this.

“To achieve more-balanced gender representation at all levels, Meridian has a target that for new employees hired each year, we’ll aim for 40% of these appointees being men, 40% women, and the remaining 20% being of any gender.”

As part of the Mind the Gap initiative across New Zealand, Meridian is also committed to publicly disclosing their overall gender pay gap and committing to targets. Learn more about the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion

Why we think you’ll love them too

Meridian is proudly part of a program called the Kākāpō Recovery Programme, helping to protect Aotearoa’s natural environment and raise awareness of the plight of kākāpō.

The kākāpō, otherwise known as the world’s chonkiest parrot, used to be widespread on mainland New Zealand. However, due to the introduction of predators, hunting, and land clearance, their numbers drastically dropped and the species seemed doomed to extinction. Thanks to the exhaustive conservation efforts by the Department of Conservation and the formation of the Kākāpō Recovery Programme, the kākāpō population is now reaching numbers not seen in decades. In fact, until recently, it had been over 30 years since kākāpō were last seen on mainland Aotearoa.

Image: Species Strigops habroptilus, Kākāpō, or night parrot, taken by Jake Osborne, Kākāpō Ranger.

Part of the reason is that Meridian have put in the mahi (work), alongside the kākāpō rangers, to create fit-for-purpose power systems, powered primarily by the sun. This means incubators, brooders, and feed-out gear can run efficiently on predator free islands, giving the team the best chance at successfully managing breeding seasons.

Meridian is also helping to fund an innovation called the ‘Smart Egg’, a 3D-printed egg that helps with the incubation process. Often, once a kākāpō lays an egg, the egg is removed from its nest and hatched in an incubator, and a dummy egg is put in its place. Smart Eggs have been successful with the Kākāpō Recovery Programme and could be used with many other endangered species in the future.

Want to find out more about what you’re invested in through Verve Super?

For too long, finance companies and super funds have been about making money at any cost. Verve is here to fix that. We want you to be truly inspired by your superannuation and investing journey; to look back one day and be proud of how you invested, and proud of how you chose to build wealth for a brighter future for all.

Find out more about ethical investing and be sure to download the latest copy of Verve Super’s Investment Universe.

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