Christchurch becomes first airport in Southern Hemisphere to achieve carbon neutral status
Christchurch International Airport
Fri 8 Feb 2008 – New Zealand’s Christchurch International Airport (CIAL) has received carbonNZero certification from Landcare Research, a leading New Zealand environmental research organization, following a detailed measurement and analysis process. The certification procedure has seen the airport company measuring, managing, reducing and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions arising from its operational business activities.
“We believe that CIAL is the first airport company in the Southern Hemisphere to attain certified carbon neutral status, through the reduction and offsetting of the greenhouse gas emissions directly generated by our airport company operations,” said Rene Bakx, CIAL’s Chief Executive.
“The involvement of world-renowned scientists at Landcare Research provides authority, credibility and integrity. Furthermore, the carbonNZero programme is transparent and has achieved international recognition. We are satisfied that the ethos underlying the programme is solid and international best practice.
“We firmly believe it is imperative that New Zealand takes a leadership role in addressing global warming. CIAL’s commitment to sustainability and environmental management reinforces our contribution to New Zealand’s positioning as ‘100% Pure’, which we see as crucial in growing the South Island tourism market.
“Research has shown that the carbon footprint issue is becoming a decisive factor for tourists in planning their overseas holiday, and as the international market makes up 30% of our passenger base, we worked towards achievement of this accreditation. It is our intention that this will assist tourists in their decision making when considering New Zealand as their next holiday destination, while at the same time contributing to our goal of running a sustainable airport operation.”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Helen Clark, together with Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive, George Hickton, and Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, all welcomed the achievement.
The emissions that CIAL cannot reduce will be offset through investment in government-approved carbon credit programmes in New Zealand, and CIAL has made a commitment to continue to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions through identifying efficiencies and completing the external audit programme annually.
Rene Bakx said that CIAL would further extend this programme by working with airport campus operators to support them in enabling their businesses to become carbon neutral.