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First carbon neutral airport co. in Sth Hemisphere

Media Release

Embargoed until 12.30pm, Thursday 24th January 2008

CIAL is first airport company in Southern Hemisphere to achieve carbon neutral certification

Christchurch International Airport Ltd’s Chief Executive Rene Bakx has today announced that the airport company has received carboNZeroCert™ certification from Landcare Research following a detailed measurement and analysis process. 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”, says Mr Bakx. “We are the gateway for the best of the South Island, and, with an agreed focus on tourism and sustainability, the decision to work towards this goal was a straightforward one for the Company to take”.

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, CIAL 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”, he says. “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,” Helen Clark said.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton also welcomed the news that Christchurch International Airport had gained carboNZero certification. “This is exactly the sort of leadership we want to see from operators and just the kind of thing that supports


FAQ List Carbon Neutral

1. What airport activities are included under “airport company activities”?

CIAL has used the “control approach” to account for 100% of greenhouse gas emissions from operations over which CIAL has control including:

- CIAL corporate operations

- Airfield maintenance and infrastructure maintenance

- Emergency response emissions

- Terminal building and building construction

- Farm holdings

2. How was carbon neutral certification achieved?

CIAL has worked through a staged process with Landcare Research, involving:

- Measuring the amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases produced by our operations. This requires the development of an Emissions Inventory which is compliant with international standards for greenhouse gas accounting and reporting requirements (ISO 14064-1).

- Managing emissions through the development of an emissions reduction plan

- External audit against the requirements of carboNZero certification including our Emissions Inventory and Emissions Reduction Plan.

- Mitigating - Purchasing carbon credits to offset any remaining emissions While CIAL has purchased carbon credits to offset the carbon emissions which it cannot avoid, it is important to note that the main focus of our efforts will be to reduce the emissions caused by the operations of the airport company, through introducing more efficient operating practices across the company.

Our ongoing commitment to the carboNZero programme will see CIAL consistently reviewing the Company’s emissions and striving for continual improvement.

3. Why is this carbon neutral status important?

This is a management tool used by CIAL to reflect our commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CIAL expects that by becoming carbon neutral, the Company will be acting as a catalyst to further New Zealand’s commitment to sustainability, and that other businesses in the tourism industry will follow suit.

We will be working with our airport tenants (the likes of airlines, freight forwarders, rental car operators etc) to support them in attaining carbon neutral status.

4. What is the cost of the programme to airport users?

CIAL considers that as a responsible corporate citizen it is important for the Company to commit to this type of programme as a cost of doing business. The costs associated with committing to this programme are serviced off the Company’s balance sheet. No additional charges will be levied to airport users to meet these costs.

CIAL believes that the costs associated with commitment to this programme will be countered by incremental savings in energy consumed by company operations.

5. What are CIAL’s carbon credits used for?

CIAL, through the carboNZero programme, has purchased a combination of windfarm, forest regeneration and landfill gas recovery credits, all earned from New Zealand based programmes.

6. How often does CIAL need to repeat this process?

Each year, an Emissions Inventory Report will be produced and compliance with our emission reduction plan will need to be demonstrated through an external audit process. CIAL is committed to maintaining its carboNZero certification annually.

7. Have any other airport companies achieved carbon neutral status?

We believe that the only other airport to have achieved carbon neutral status is the LVF Airport Group in Sweden.

8. What other tangible environmental sustainability initiatives is CIAL undertaking?

- Use of Building Management Systems to maximise energy efficiency in the terminal building

- Waste recycling programmes

- Recycling of former road materials in the runway maintenance programme

- Investment in world leading research and development for development of grass species that are unattractive to insects and therefore birds, thereby avoiding the need for pesticide control

- Use of energy efficient bulbs

- Conversion of heating systems from diesel to LPG

- Maintenance and procurement policies designed to maximise energy efficiency

- Planting and landscaping policies that consider water conservation

- Investment in stormwater management systems to safeguard groundwater quality

- Innovative design to use the differential thermal properties of groundwater to heat and cool the terminal building

- Employment of an Environmental Officer

CIAL has also committed to the Christchurch City Council’s Resource Efficiency in the Building and Related Industries (REBRI) programme. REBRI's goal is to improve resource efficiency in the building industry by providing the resources to:

- Reduce waste disposal costs

- Use materials more effectively

- Reduce the environmental impact from landfill disposal

- Assist industry, councils and the community to meet the New Zealand waste strategy target

9. Is anything excluded from the programme?

Greenhouse gas emissions excluded from the CIAL inventory are:

- Aircraft movements. CIAL does not have direct control over these movements

- Vehicles not owned by CIAL. CIAL does not have control over these movements GHG Emissions included in the inventory but not offset are:

- Farm Holding activities because of the potential of establishing precedents that may apply to the agricultural sector

- Non operational construction activities to establish a benchmark against which to monitor future construction activity

10. What is carboNZero?

The carboNZero programme is an internationally recognised greenhouse gas certification scheme for organisations, products, services, and events wishing to demonstrate climate change action with the highest integrity. The programme encourages and supports individuals and organisations to measure, manage (reduce) and mitigate (offset) their greenhouse gas emissions. The programme offers optional mitigation strategies through the provision of high quality verified offsets. Established in 2001 by Landcare Research, the programme is based on over a decade of research in greenhouse gas measurement and carbon monitoring. The programme’s goal is to provide credible tools to reduce GHG emissions to the atmosphere. For further information see

11. What is Climate Change?

Burning fossil fuels has increased the levels of greenhouse gases, including CO2, in the atmosphere. They remain there, trapping warm air that would have otherwise dissipated into space. Impacts include temperature change, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather patterns. See for a text and animated explanation of the green house effect.

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