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University of Canterbury's carbon footprint certification

University of Canterbury first university outside UK to gain CEMARS carbon footprint certification

The University of Canterbury has become the first university outside the UK to be certified under the CEMARS scheme by carboNZero Holdings Limited.

CEMARS (Certified Emissions Management And Reduction Scheme) is the world’s first internationally accredited greenhouse gas certification scheme to measure and reduce the emissions created by an organisation’s operational activities. CEMARS is a certification option provided by carboNZero Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of New Zealand Crown Research Institute - Landcare Research.

University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr was presented with a certificate celebrating UC’s CEMARS certification by Professor Ann Smith, GM Technical of carboNZero Holdings.

“carboNZero Holdings verifies the equivalent of more than half of New Zealand’s carbon footprint annually for its clients in five countries,” said Professor Smith. “We are delighted that the University has taken this important step, making it one of more than 600 recipients of certification from us since 2006.”

UC joins other large organisations, such as Meridian Energy, Wellington International Airport and the NZ Rugby Union in achieving CEMARS certification.

As part of its CEMARS certification the University proposes to reduce its emissions over the next five years in line with New Zealand’s national targets under the Kyoto Protocol (i.e. 10-20 per cent by 2020 based on 1990 levels). Some of the projects that will be undertaken to help achieve this goal are to:

• Increase the combustion and operational efficiency of its coal boiler by upgrading its management control
• Reduce air travel through providing leading edge video conferencing facilities across campus
• Benchmark high energy use in buildings and apply remedial measures

“Becoming CEMARS certified is an important step for the University,” said University of Canterbury Vice-Chancellor, Dr Rod Carr. “It has allowed us to comprehensively measure and verify our emissions and to set targets for the reduction of those emissions. On campus, CEMARS will support our efforts to become more energy conscious and efficient. Off campus and in the wider community, it will broaden and enhance our organisation’s sustainability credentials and its reputation as a great place to study or work.”

“CEMARS certification is another key step in our sustainability journey. The challenge now is to maintain our focus and deliver upon our commitment as one of the few universities in the world with this distinction.”


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