Airport company achieves carbon neutral certification

Monday, 04 February, 2008

Rene Bakx, chief executive of Christchurch International Airport Ltd, has announced that the airport company has received carboNZeroCert certification from Landcare Research.

The certification process 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 Bakx.

The global warming discourse has recently progressed on the world stage from debate into action. And with tourism now contributing 10% of New Zealand’s GDP, the company believes it is essential that positive steps are taken to address the climate change concerns of international travellers visiting New Zealand, while also taking ownership as a responsible corporate citizen.

“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,” Bakx said.

“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.”

The Prime Minister Helen Clark has congratulated CIAL for securing the carboNZero certification.

“The high-value visitors we seek to attract are increasingly conscious of their environmental footprint. For many of them we are a long-haul destination. We don’t want to be ruled out of consideration as a destination because it is seen as unsustainable to be here at all. New Zealand as a country, and tourism as an industry, must go the extra mile to prove sustainability credentials. Being clean and green and 100% pure is priceless positioning and we must keep it,” Clark said.

The emissions that CIAL cannot reduce will be offset through investment in government-approved carbon credit programs in New Zealand, and CIAL has made a further commitment to continue to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions through identifying efficiencies and completing the external audit program annually.

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