Gavin Smith

“Alsco will continue to strive to build a legacy that gives professional and personal satisfaction in the work we do. Alsco desires to be progressive, sustainable, and a good corporate citizen.”

Alsco has a genuine commitment to positive sustainability, climate, social, and community initiatives, that pave a positive way forward for wider social impacts and a more inclusive community.

An example is our involvement in the Textile Reuse Program, developing alternatives for textiles at the end of their initial life cycle. Being one of the four founding partners and on the steering committee of the program has given Alsco a real sense of ownership and connection. It has enabled Alsco to help shape the direction of the program whilst developing capacity to divert our used textiles away from landfill at the end of their rental life. Alsco purchases over 200 tonnes of textiles annually, and without diversion, the bulk of that stock would eventually end up in landfill. 

Alsco is privileged to be a partner in the Million Meters Streams Project. The initiative takes us beyond our workplace and enables our teams, families, customers and suppliers to get involved in this awesome community program. Alsco has been involved in 17 planting projects that have planted more than 10,000 native trees, with over 500 volunteers giving up their spare time. We have contributed over $100,000 to support planting of native trees to help regenerate waterways. Alsco consumes a lot of water in our laundry facilities, and we have made a genuine commitment to save a third of that water from the 2018 base. While technological investments are helpful, the Million Metres program is making real positive impact on our catchments, harbours, and wetlands. 

Recently we have enjoyed being part of the Auckland City Mission Cookoff. The relationship was built over many years by by NZTS and in recent years fostered by Mark Roberts and Steve Barden. There is real legacy of continuous involvement with the City Mission and we look forward to seeing it flourish over many more years. 

I am very proud of the Ambassador Donations program Alsco has developed over the past decade. This program enables those useful items that would normally go to landfill to get a second life. The program initially focussed on providing First Aid kits and consumables to organisations such as Medical Aid Abroad, but in recent times we have been very busy providing linen and supplies to more than 70 charitable causes that are focussed on the very real issue of poverty in NZ. 

The partnership we have fostered with the Sustainable Business Network, and the subsequent recognition we received from the 2018 Sustainability Review has positioned Alsco as a leader in this space. Working with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has been equally important and beneficial. LED lighting initiatives, Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund (LEVF) applications, Wood Chip trials, Energy Graduate placement, and now the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) have all contributed to planning and prioritising future initiatives. 

The Alsco name is relatively new, but our brand has become stronger and more recognisable over the past few years, no doubt bolstered by the work we have done in the sustainability arena, and the engagement we have had with communities across NZ. Alsco is on the cusp of being in the top 200 energy users nationwide. This puts real impetus on us to show leadership and develop our brand further. I have a strong belief in being ‘betterer’, that is not being content with the status quo but pushing our organisation and people to be better.