Press Release – Kapiti Coast District Council
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is the first council in the country to gain admission to the prestigious Carbon Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS).
CEMARS is run by Landcare Research and recognises organisations that can independently verify they have measured and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Other New Zealand agencies that are CEMARS certified include Toyota NZ, Meridian Energy and the University of Canterbury.
Mayor Jenny Rowan says the achievement recognises Council’s determined commitment towards reducing its carbon footprint.
“I am not sure people realise just how active this Council is in the area of energy conservation and carbon emission reduction. We are leaders in the local government sector and have pioneered a range of initiatives across all our operations.
“From the wood-fired boiler at the waste water treatment plant to solar power, more efficient heating, the installation of low energy LED street lights, environmental restoration and water conservation projects, Council is leading the way.”
Council began its bid to gain CEMARS certification in 2011. This involved calculating its corporate carbon footprint to the internationally recognised ISO 14064 standard and adopting an emissions management and reduction plan for the organisation. This work was independently audited and verified.
The plan targets a 45% reduction in operational emissions in 2014-15, compared to the baseline year of 2009-10, increasing to 80% in 2021-22. Mayor Rowan says Council has already significantly reduced carbon emissions in recent years but CEMARS status will “turbo-boost” those efforts.
“Council is already walking the talk on sustainability but under CEMARS we will be doubling our efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions, which accelerate climate change.
“As a coastal community, Kāpiti is already feeling the effects of climate change and rising sea levels, in particular. I believe we are duty bound as a corporate entity as well as a global citizen to do what we can to mitigate our contribution.”
Mayor Rowan says Council’s plans to further reduce greenhouse gases include eliminating emissions from sewage sludge disposal – its biggest emissions source – generating renewable energy and improving energy efficiency in Council facilities, vehicles and street lighting. These measures will be funded from existing budgets and the savings they generate.”
Details of the Council’s CEMARS accreditation including emissions inventory (carbon footprint) reports for 2009-10 and 2010-11 and emissions reduction plan will be available on the Council website.