Waikato Regional Council has reduced its gross emissions by 35% since the 2016-17 base year and is on track to meet its target of 70% CO2e reductions compared to the base year by 2030.
Since 2016-17, the council has developed an annual Emissions Inventory Report (EIR) to quantify and understand its corporate greenhouse gas emissions. This report is independently audited and certified by Toitū as part of the Toitū carbonreduce programme.
In 2017, the council set a target of reducing its corporate emissions by an average of 2 per cent every year with the overall intention of achieving a 45 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide by 2030 and reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.
As more is understood about what needs to be done to address climate change, the council has revised its corporate emissions reduction plan. Analysis indicates that a 60-70 per cent reduction in corporate emissions is feasible by 2030.
The Emissions Inventory Report identifies the most significant ongoing emissions sources as diesel and electricity. Petrol use and domestic air travel are also significant contributors. WRC has direct control over all the emissions sources mentioned above, and the organisation is using a mix of behaviour, operational and investment interventions to reduce emissions from these areas.
Targets for emissions reduction are developed to coincide with updates for the Long Term Plan (LTP), which take place every three years. Progress will be monitored continuously and reviewed on an annual basis to ensure the organisation is staying on track to meet these targets.
Calculate your household emissions here – https://www.toitu.co.nz/calculators
Other work WRC is doing on the climate crisis
As well as having many direct and indirect effects on the communities we work in, climate change will directly affect the work of the Waikato Regional Council.
In New Zealand, regional councils have statutory responsibilities regarding climate adaptation, particularly with a view to natural hazards, infrastructure and assets management. In addition, it has been recognised that regional and local councils can also contribute to climate mitigation and transition to a low carbon economy, and address the opportunities and risks that climate change presents.
WRC is a signatory to the Local Government New Zealand’s 2017 Leaders Climate Change Declaration outlining the key commitments and actions that councils plan to undertake to support action on climate change. We are working with others to lead the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient Waikato Region.
Council has committed to pursuing a leadership approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. This means that as well as reducing our emissions to help mitigate climate change, we will also need to adapt our services and operations to changing weather and climate conditions. In order to manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts of our operations, the Waikato Regional Council encourages staff (and the wider Waikato community) to engage with sustainability issues and initiatives. The organisation also seeks to ingrain environmental best practices into all operations, systems and decision-making.
Council has set up a Climate Action Committee to take a leadership role in facilitating collaborative action, community engagement and communication. Details of commitments and sustainability policies are publicly available and can be found online or through hard copies of documents located at the organisation’s main office (401 Grey Street, Hamilton East). This emissions management and reduction plan applies only to WRC’s corporate activities and does not include regional policy interventions.