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Meridian works to enhance carbon neutrality

24 February 2008

Meridian continues work to ensure and enhance carbon neutrality

A year after Meridian announced it was New Zealand’s first power company to achieve CarboNZero certification, the company is continuing to implement programmes and initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.

“Achieving carbon neutrality last year was a milestone we are very proud of. We are also proud to be continuing our journey, so that we not only maintain our status, but continue to reduce our carbon emissions and therefore our impact on the environment,” says Keith Turner, Chief Executive of Meridian.

Meridian achieved carbon neutral certification this time last year following a commitment made three years earlier to generate only from renewable resources (hydro and wind generation).

The process for achieving CarboNZero certification is very rigorous and is independently run by Landcare Research.

“Meridian has around 160,000 retail customers – each of whom has, in effect, reduced their carbon footprint because the power they use is carbon neutral.

“Awareness of climate change is growing rapidly and environmentally conscious power consumers will find a switch to Meridian, as a CarboNZero certified supplier, one of the easiest and most practicable steps towards reducing their carbon footprint.”

“We are committed to helping our customers further reduce their carbon footprint by encouraging them to become more energy efficient and conserve power use through a combination of education, incentives and targeted programmes.

Meridian is reducing the carbon intensity of providing billing and other information to customers by cutting back on the number of paper documents and allowing customers to view information on-line.

To help New Zealanders save energy, improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions, Meridian has recently launched Right House, a subsidiary set up to provide end-to-end solutions for all householders including improved home design, advice on product specification as well as help with the selection and installation of energy efficient products.

“CarboNZero certification for Meridian is part of a long-term commitment to reduce the emission of climate changing gases, which includes reducing emissions and offsetting those which cannot be avoided.

“This has included an ongoing process of setting goals to reduce emissions in everything we do, which is also part of the certification process. This also means we are increasingly including emissions considerations into the planning process for new projects.

“Our new building is an example of this. It allows us to use, on a daily basis, far lower levels of resources such as power and water compared with a conventional building. Proactive decisions made during the planning and building process reduced the need for energy intensive operations such as the excavation of certain areas, which were instead incorporated into the design. This also had flow-on beneficial effects such as reducing waste to landfill.

Another example is the project to replace Stewart Island’s diesel power generation with renewable generation. Meridian subsidiary Right House and Southland District Council have formed a project team, which is working to lower carbon emissions as well as providing Stewart Island residents with a cheaper and more sustainable power supply.

“Meridian is moving towards becoming a global reference company in renewable energy. This vision includes continuing to reduce the carbon footprint of its own operations as well as helping its customers to reduce their carbon emissions,” concludes Keith Turner.

ENDS




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