Carbn driving change


Carbn’s mission is straightforward, to foster a more sustainable New Zealand by removing one million tonnes of CO2e by 2030 generated by petrol and diesel vehicles. Through their efforts and innovative approaches, they’ve already guided numerous organisations toward sustainable transportation.

Managed by CEO Shaun Drylie, Carbn is majority owned by New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF), the government-owned green investment bank, established to accelerate and facilitate investment in emission reductions in New Zealand. Being able to leverage NZGIF is a massive credibility bonus for Carbn when assisting larger organisations.

Guidance for businesses


Businesses aiming to reduce emissions are best to first understand their fleet’s current state and identify emission sources. This includes direct emissions from the vehicles you own, but also indirect sources including business travel, transportation, and employee commuting (often called ‘Scope 3’ emissions). A good example of Scope 3 compliance is instructing employees to use EV’s when booking taxis.

Therefore while many businesses want to lower their emissions, it’s not always easy to know how to practically make that change. This is where Carbn can help, to ensure businesses understand the steps and processes involved.

‘Often a business isn’t sure how to start or move through the process,’ says Shaun. ‘There are businesses that have bought EV’s or hybrids, yet they sit in car parks because they can’t get charged. There’s no sense having e-vehicles when there’s no charging sources at people’s houses or in the car park. Plug-in hybrids can be a waste for many businesses, because if the business is paying for the petrol, nobody plugs them in to charge. Employees find it faster and easier to fill up on the way home. That’s why we need to help businesses think about before they act’.

Carb's core services


To help solve these potential blocks, Carbn has three current roles:

  • A consultancy service, helping a business assess their current vehicle fleet, by advising on emission reductions and developing transition plans. It can take years to fully transition to EV’s, and Carbn will sit inside a business to help.
  • Offering flexible fleet financing and operational management, leveraging our relationship with our funding partners NZGIF and ASB Large vehicle fleets are capital intensive and often require custom financing.
  • Delivering client-specific technology solutions.


‘One of our key roles,’ says Shaun, ‘is advisory, guiding clients through their transition. Once we identify their priorities, we can set out a practical road map for each customer.  We then have capacity as a funder to make it happen, if they need it.’ Carbn offer operational leases where they charge a monthly fee and take all the residual risk of the vehicle, or a finance lease where they act as a banker to fund the vehicles.

Customer examples


Carbn’s dedication to sustainability shines in the partnership with Zilch who are sustainable mobility experts and have recently been appointed to electrify ASB’s fleet. Since Carbn’s inception they have worked closely with Zilch to fund both EV’s, chargers and infrastructure in a bundled offering with technology and a wrap around service. Zilch has also worked closely with the ASB tax team to create an IRD FBT exemption for personal trips in the ASB EV’s. Thanks to Carbn we expect to see an acceleration of EV’s in our fleet and across NZ.

Another example is New Zealand Post who turned to Carbn to act as a facilitator in greening contractor vans, benefitting from a deal with Mercedes that gives them access to electric vans on favourable finance terms.

This advisory first approach gives Carbn the opportunity to get inside an organisation. ‘We work with our clients like Ryman Healthcare and local health boards to show them what they need to do in their business to transition,’ says Shaun. ‘Many businesses face pressure to move to lower emissions, but they don’t know how to do it. We act as an advisor to help them through this change. It’s not just about replacing internal combustion engines with EV, it’s actually about understanding the needs of the business.’

It’s a perfect example of how Carbn and the NZGIF is able to participate in lowering emissions through their customers.

Shaun's toolbox


If you’re seeking to assess your emissions, Shaun recommends the following tools and resources to help start your journey. They all have a comprehensive resources to view and download:

  • EVD3, a data driven website helping Kiwi’s considering going electric.
  • Drive Electric, offering the option to search for your ideal vehicle.
  • Genless, a government site with stories, tools, and a whole range of actions you can take that will cut down energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.

The benefits of electric vehicles


With around 4 million combustion engines on New Zealand’s roads and only 2% of those being low emission, there’s a long way to go. Carbn knows starting with light passenger and commercial vehicles will have a significant impact on overall emissions.

Electric vehicles offer:

  • Reduced maintenance costs due to fewer consumables like oil changes and spark plug replacements. For instance, there are over 2200 moving parts in an internal combustion vehicle and only 20 in an electric car.
  • Lower reliance on fluctuating fuel prices, trimming one of the typically highest fleet expenses.
  • Increased productivity, with vehicle charging done overnight or while the employee is at work, reducing visits to petrol stations.

Businesses with a social responsibility strategy also benefit from switching to electric vehicles. They find employees increasingly value working for a more sustainable business.

How Carbn connects with clients

Carbn’s success is currently due to word-of-mouth recommendations and by participating in panels as EV experts. It’s also a bonus being part of the NZGIF family. ‘There’s a huge amount of opportunity in government departments,’ says Shaun, ‘where each run their own fleets. We can encourage them to think holistically about their efficiencies and using technology to lessen their emissions.’

Carbn also identifies potential structural changes organisations could benefit from, such as fleet pooling to cut back on emissions, rather than replacing an entire fleet. Or helping developers design sustainable village concepts with less space, where occupants can share EV’s rather than take up a car park each.

ASB's role in Carbn's journey


ASB acts as a funder for Carbn. Shaun understands the inner workings of ASB from his time as an employee, including thirteen years as a general manager. ‘It’s a professional relationship, but there’s a nice informality. You don’t feel you’re being a nuisance by picking up the phone or dropping in for a coffee now and then. I think that’s the mark of a great relationship, that you have that transparency and interaction.’

At ASB, Matt and Jeremy have provided a sounding board to brainstorm ideas as well as guiding customers on formal credit applications. That support saves Carbn valuable time, energy, and internal resources.

Final thoughts


Shaun says technology will continue to get faster and better, bolstering emission tracking and management. ‘We don’t have to do it all. We can act as a facilitator to put the puzzle and the solution together, and doing what needs to be done so we can move the dial.’

While some companies offer fleet emission reduction based on traditional models, focused on maintaining vehicle volume for stable balance sheets, Carbn prioritises rethinking fleet usage, sometimes leading clients to discover they need fewer vehicles than before.

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