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Environment House open for business

13 July 2005

Environment House open for business

The Ministry for the Environment's new home in the heart of the government zone in Thorndon, Wellington is a sign of its leadership role on the environment, the Environment Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

Environment House at 23 Kate Sheppard Place, officially opened by the minister today, is one of the few purpose-built office buildings constructed in Wellington in the past 20 years. As head tenant, the ministry had a say in the construction ensuring the building fit-out incorporated sustainability principles.

"It has a state-of-the-art air conditioning system that uses heat transfer and low-impact refrigerants, and an energy-efficient lighting system," Marian Hobbs said.

"The building's electronic building management system allows continuous scanning and control of building conditions and performance.

"The ministry re-used furniture and fittings from its old buildings, and used sustainable materials for new fittings wherever possible.

"Carpets, paint and toilet paper are certified by Environmental Choice, the government-backed environmental labelling programme, which recognises what manufacturers have done to reduce the environmental impacts of their products.

"The ministry has also transferred its comprehensive in-house recycling system from the old buildings. Staff do not have typical rubbish bins at their desks – apart from a small cube on each desk – and recycle paper, glass, aluminium, plastic and even food scraps."

Marian Hobbs said that part of the ministry's leadership role in central government is encouraging other departments to take practical steps towards sustainability, through a programme known as Govt3.

"The new Environment House will help the ministry reduce its environmental impact and bring staff together under one roof, close to the other government agencies it works most closely with," Marian Hobbs added.

ENDS

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