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Ellerslie appetiser earns Solid Energy support

11 March 2008

Christchurch’s Ellerslie appetiser earns Solid Energy support

Solid Energy’s commitment to sustainability and its target of having a net positive effect on the environment is behind its support for the Ellerslie Experience, which runs from 12 to 25 March in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

The event aims to give Christchurch residents and visitors a taster ahead of next year’s first Ellerslie International Flower Show to be held in the city. Mark Pizey, Solid Energy’s National Environmental Manager, says the award-winning Earth Sharing Life display at the centre of the Ellerslie Experience examines people’s impact on their environment and for Solid Energy that is an important topic.

“Solid Energy is very well known as a coal producer and there’s no question that mining has an impact on the land. What is less well known is the huge amount of work and effort we put in to rehabilitating and planting our current and former mines; our support for other positive environmental initiatives and for a range of events and community initiatives across the country in our local communities,” Mr Pizey says.

“In the 2007 year alone we planted more than a quarter of a million native seedlings and successfully rehabilitated 157 hectares of land. This work helps support 18 plant nurseries and propagators around the country,” Mr Pizey says. “As a result of our research, we are pioneering new erosion control techniques and developing better ways of ensuring plants can get established and grow. Our off-site programmes include a commitment of $100,000 per annum for the Department of Conservation’s blue duck (whio) recovery programme.

“The key theme of the Ellerslie Experience garden is sustainability, challenging us all to take responsibility in restoring and preserving the environment for future generations and this is a core principle for Solid Energy. We have recognised for some time that to be a sustainable business all our activities must be undertaken in an environmentally responsible manner and that underlines our overall objectives of having a net positive effect on the New Zealand environment.

“We’re also a company with a strong Canterbury presence, employing more than 150 people in Christchurch at our Corporate Office, Biodiesel New Zealand Ltd and Nature’s Flame biomass business. We have an active programme of supporting our local communities across the country and our support for the Ellerslie Experience builds on the relationship established with the Christchurch City Council last year in our successful support of the city’s Heritage Week. We hope that as many people as possible will make time to ‘experience Ellerslie’ in this taster event,” he says.

The Ellerslie Experience is a Christchurch City Council event, managed by Ellerslie International Flower Show with main sponsors Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd and City Care. The Earth Sharing Life exhibition garden, designed by Julie Moore (Planet Earth Ltd) and Lynn Cairney (Fusion Landscape Design Ltd) was a multi-award winner at the 2007 Ellerslie Flower Show, winning a gold medal, the People’s Choice Award, a further gold medal for lighting and the supreme award for lighting. The first Ellerslie International Flower Show will be held in Christchurch 11 – 15 March 2009.

ENDS

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