Energy and greenhouse gas management
We have had an award-winning energy management programme in place since 2006 to reduce the amount of electricity, gas, diesel and fuel we use.
Our energy management programme has involved a series of small, medium and large projects to cut our energy bill, from making the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the Civic Centre, Puke Ariki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, archive building and Todd Energy Aquatic Centre more efficient, to encouraging staff to walk to meetings that are up to 1km away or use our fleet of electric bikes when travelling between 1km and 5km.
Active and sustainable transport has the potential to significantly reduce our district’s greenhouse gas emissions. Our Let’s Go programme has a range of tips and suggestions on how we can help our community choose walking, cycling, scootering, the bus and carpooling over driving cars. We also provide active travel planning and support to schools and workplaces.
We are a participant in the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the largest global alliance for climate leadership, which is built upon the commitment of more than 9,000 cities and local governments. As a participant, we are working towards measuring local emissions, setting reduction targets and implementing an action plan.
We’re also a signatory of the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration here in New Zealand.
Since our energy management programme was put in place in 2007/08, we have achieved energy savings of $6.5 million (up to June 2018) compared to business as usual, even with the addition of new buildings and sewage pumping stations.
In September 2019 we will launch new electric trucks for the food scraps and landfill bins’ kerbside waste collections.
We are leading local government efforts on waste reduction, with the Zero Waste 2040 target for the district and a goal of Zero Waste to the landfill from our own operations by 2023.
To support this, new Zero Waste bin stations and signs are being rolled out across our sites, along with education and engagement of staff, data collection, and the creation of an In-House Waste Strategy. We also support businesses and schools to reduce waste with a Zero Waste Educator and Commercial Waste Minimisation Officer.
Through our infrastructure projects we are working to prioritise sustainability considerations and reuse and recycling options, such as the recycling of the building wrap used in the 2019 reroofing of the Civic Centre.
We are actively looking at opportunities to include recycled content in its infrastructure projects to support the recycling market. For example, recycled plastic has been used in board walks and a roading trial, and used tyres in rubber playground surfaces.
We produce 70 million litres of drinking water per day for our community, and our district’s average daily water use is 309 litres per person - well above the national average.
We support the public to reduce water use through our Wai Warrior campaign, a Three Waters Education Officer, and annual summer water restrictions.
We’re also working to reduce our own use of water by developing a Water Conservation Strategy and water-efficient design in infrastructure projects.