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Languages International takes the Lead

Languages International takes the Lead in Green Education

Languages International, a leading New Zealand private training establishment, is set to become one of the first certified carbon-neutral education providers in the country, and the first company of its type in the world to take such a step.

Languages International was established in 1978 and operates from its iconic premises in Auckland’s Albert Park and on Christchurch’s Worcester Boulevard. In 2007, the company provided English language courses for around 1,500 learners from over 30 countries worldwide.

The company has completed the Offset the Rest carbon neutral certification process for businesses. Offset the Rest is a New Zealand based carbon management consultancy, internationally recognised by UK company Environmental Data Services as one of the top three carbon offset providers in the world. The certification process involves three key steps; carbon footprint measurement, the setting of emission reduction initiatives, and the offsetting of any unavoidable emissions.

Languages International’s decision to pursue carbon neutrality was driven by Senior Manager, Brett Shirreffs. Mr Shirreffs’ commitment is not limited to the business operations of Languages International; he also intends to focus on encouraging the school’s foreign students to consider offsetting emissions associated with their stay in New Zealand, including flights, domestic travel, and accommodation.

Mr Shirreffs states, “This is about what is good for the environment, but it’s also a good way to focus our efforts to cut waste and reduce energy costs. We also think it’s wise to consider international students’ concerns about the environmental cost of coming all the way to New Zealand to study”.

The company worked towards certification by measuring the current carbon footprint of the business using a business calculator developed for Offset the Rest by the Cawthron Institute, an internationally renowned research facility.

This led to the identification of business activities with significant GHG emissions, and the development of appropriate carbon management strategies and emission reduction initiatives in response.

Electricity, long haul air travel, and diesel were identified as the highest source of emissions for Languages International, and as such will be an area of particular focus for the company.

Emissions from electricity are reduced simply by using carbon neutral electricity supplied by Meridian Energy for the company’s Christchurch offices. The installation of a new energy efficient central heating unit will further reduce emissions, as will an overall commitment to increase awareness and vigilance throughout the organisation.

The unavoidable emissions of the company were offset by Offset the Rest with carbon credits generated by Gold Standard projects. Gold Standard represents the world’s highest quality standard for generating independently verified and validated carbon offsets.


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