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SKYCITY unveils green fund, will be carbon neutral in NZ

SKYCITY Entertainment Group has revealed its climate change strategy that will see the company’s New Zealand sites carbon neutral by the end of this year, with Adelaide following next year.

SKYCITY will be among the first major New Zealand companies to go carbon neutral with its plan to set up a green fund, paid for via an internal carbon levy on all its emissions.

In a further innovation, SKYCITY staff will have the opportunity to measure and offset their own household carbon footprint, with SKYCITY matching their offset dollar-for-dollar. Already members of SKYCITY’s board and executive team, including Chairman Rob Campbell, CSR board committee chair Sue Suckling and Chief Executive Graeme Stephens, have gone carbon neutral.

Unveiling the company’s climate change strategy today, Mr Stephens says he’s proud of the work SKYCITY has undertaken to get to this point. “As a business we know the importance of reducing our carbon emissions and engaging our staff along the way, so we can make collective change.

“Climate change is recognised as one of the biggest risks facing the planet, and we have a responsibility to our investors and communities to take action and play our part,” says Mr Stephens.

SKYCITY’s Environment Manager Courtney Simpson says the climate change strategy is ambitious, but achievable, and follows international best practice.

“Over the past year we have been working incredibly hard to measure our carbon footprint, understand our impact, set science-based targets, and develop the plan as to how, as a company, we can ensure we are taking action to limit global warming to below 2 degrees.

“Already as a business we’ve managed to cut our emissions by 8% but this is just the start. By putting a price on carbon, we are adding a hard cost to the bottom line, giving a clear incentive to every SKYCITY team member to reduce emissions across the business,” says Ms Simpson.

Courtney Simpson – Group Environment Manager Still from Carbon Neutral Announcement video – click to view here

The levy will be an internal charge of $25 per tonne of carbon, in line with the New Zealand Government’s price of carbon under the Emissions Trading Scheme, and will form SKYCITY’s green fund.

Mr Stephens says the green fund is the most important part of ensuring ongoing emission reductions.

“The fund enables us to proactively allocate capital to projects that will meaningfully reduce our emissions over time, whether that be new technology, LED lighting or upgrading particular facilities.

“For SKYCITY this is about creating a future that is not only carbon neutral but also sustainable for the company – and this makes sense both environmentally and financially.’’

Mr Stephens says it is important for carbon neutrality to start from the top of the organisation and he’s been delighted to see board members and executive leading the way.

“When I started measuring my carbon emissions it provided a huge insight for me into my own impacts on the environment. It was also a revelation that this could be offset relatively cheaply and is something many people can do.’’

Funds from SKYCITY’s green fund will be used to offset SKYCITY’s carbon footprint to net zero by investing in emission reduction projects such as wind and solar farms, selected by reputable providers Enviro-Mark Solutions. The green fund will also accrue and invest in projects identified and developed by SKYCITY employees to reduce SKYCITY’s carbon emissions in accordance with its Science Based Targets, set in 2019.

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 38% by 2030 and 73% by 2050 from a 2015 base year. SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited commits that 67% of its suppliers by spend, covering purchased goods and services and capital goods, will set science-based targets by 2023.

SKYCITY is the first hospitality business in Oceania to set Science Based Targets to help keep the rise in global temperature to below 2 degrees.

SKYCITY is a signatory of the Climate Leaders Coalition, a group of New Zealand businesses committed to reducing their emissions.

© Scoop Media

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