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Success Story

Customer: The Kollective

Country: New Zealand

Industry: Not for Profit


The Client 

Co-working spaces are big news for small business. Co-working is the concept of a shared working space, used by multiple small businesses or solopreneurs, giving them all the benefits of an office environment – community, colleagues, meeting rooms, shared facilities, room to expand – without the cost of renting or buying their own dedicated space.

In New Zealand, the trend is growing fast, with recent research1 showing that 47% of current office tenants are looking to increase co-working space, alongside those who want to trade up from their home office. 

The Kollective is the largest co-working space in New Zealand - and it’s a co-working space with a difference. It is dedicated to social enterprise, charitable and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations and focuses on collaboration, building a community and sharing ideas, as much as on providing desks and meeting rooms. Co-founder and General Manager, Gordy Lockhart, explains the concept; “Human beings in a room together will talk to each other”, he says. “collaborative practice happens naturally if you create the right environment.”

The Supplier

Founded 30 years ago in Hamilton, New Zealand, Elite Business Systems has proudly been providing IT and copier service to small and medium sized businesses. 

Proudly partnering with Toshiba, they have two offices based in Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland. They are a dynamic provider of technology solutions and aim to revolutionise the way their customers do business to increase productivity. 

The Challenge

The Kollective operates with a reduced environmental footprint and on principles of sustainability. The concept for The Kollective came about when philanthropic funder TECT wanted to ensure that the projects it funded were based in sustainable environments.  Existing privately owned office spaces didn’t fit the bill, so The Kollective was purpose built.

The Member Values Agreement, drawn up by co-founder and General Manager, Gordy Lockhart, with The Kollective’s 17 founding members outlines its three core aims:

  1. Our members are passionate about what they do -  every dollar and every minute we save them allows them to focus more on their cause.  
  2. We are building a community – a fun, vibrant, interesting place to be, where member well-being is paramount 
  3. The Kollective is a showcase environmental and sustainable workplace.   

Sustainability is embedded in the operation of The Kollective; from the movement sensitive LED lighting and recycling bins, to the parking and travel approach, which encourages members to arrive by public transport, and provides electric bikes, e-scooters and e-cars to get to off-site meetings; to the printers, which use erasable toner, so paper can be re-used. 

The Solution 

The printers have been the biggest eye-opener for Gordy. “To be honest, I hadn’t heard of erasable toner printers”, admits Gordy, “until I got a call from Elite Business Systems, Toshiba’s business partner in Tauranga. They explained that with their unique technology, you can print with erasable toner, then pass the paper through an eraser device and use it again. In fact, you can erase and re-use the paper up to five times.” 

Gordy spoke to businesses in New Zealand and Australia who were already using the technology and they confirmed everything Elite had said. “When they shared with us the savings they’d made, we were convinced”, he says.

Elite’s Branch Manager, Graeme Voelkerling, organised the lease by The Kollective of four of the Toshiba e-Studio3508LP eco printers with built-in erasers, along with a further two stand-alone erasing units.  “We installed and set up the machines”, he explains, “and The Kollective simply pay a fee based on the number of copies. The machine tells us when it’s low on toner and we send out more ‘just in time’”.   As well as their environmental credentials, the printers have built in security features, with the ability to hold print until the user releases it – an important function in a co-working space. 

The Result 

The results have been outstanding - Gordy has seen paper usage reduce by at least a ream of paper (500 sheets) per machine per week.  Across four machines, that’s 2000 sheets a week, or a massive 104,000 sheets of paper a year. 

It’s not just about the paper and cost savings. Toshiba’s technology gives The Kollective a very practical way to showcase its environmental commitment and helps to drive the tremendous credibility of its green principles.  
There’s no doubt that the Toshiba printer technology is impressive. The savings speak for themselves and it’s a real ‘walk the talk’ approach to sustainability. But the final word has to be Gordy’s description of visitors’ reaction when they see the print just disappear and a clean sheet of paper emerge. “They can’t believe their eyes”, he says. “It’s a moment I call ‘jaws on the floor’!”




Elite Business Systems 
1 St Johns St, Tauranga, 
New Zealand, 3110
P: +64 7570 0000

The Kollective
127 17th Ave, Tauranga South,
New Zealand, 3112
P: +64 7987 0592


TOSHIBA (Australia) Pty Limited
Building C, 12-24 Talavera Road,
North Ryde, NSW, 2113
P:1300 794 202

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