Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Selwyn’s big step toward reducing carbon footprint

Selwyn District Council has taken a significant first step on the road to becoming carbon neutral by having its carbon footprint calculated.

The Council recently undertook an assessment of its carbon footprint, with the results audited and now verified by Toitu Envirocare, a subsidiary of Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, which specialises in assessing carbon footprints and supporting sustainability.

Total emissions for the 2018/19 year were approximately 6200 tonnes of ‘COequivalent’.

Council Solid Waste Manager, Andrew Boyd, who oversaw the collation of the data for the report, says the report is a critical first step to the Council reducing its emissions.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure. We have a base line now, so we understand what makes up our carbon emissions. Next we can identify what areas to focus on, and what will make the biggest difference,” said Mr Boyd.

The report shows the Council’s biggest emissions come from diesel use by contractors performing services such as roading maintenance, water network management, and waste collection on behalf of Council, followed by electricity use. Together these make up 60% of its annual emissions.

The Council is already well advanced with a project to install LED bulbs in all its street lighting, which will reduce electricity use and maintenance costs. Further emissions reductions will be considered from the report.

In December, the Council committed to reduce its carbon emissions, to carry out regular assessment of risk and opportunities, and to report back on its actions, in its first climate change policy.

It is also committed to reduce its emissions as part of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets targets for the country to become carbon neutral by 2050.

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