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Manage your greenhouse gas emissions

Westpac NZ Auckland building

Westpac NZ, our first CEMARS certified client, in their 4 star Green Star rated building in Auckland

Making a commitment to manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source is the most important aspect of the programme. The carboNZero programme provides guidance on the investigation and documentation of emissions and helps determine the most appropriate reduction options. Reducing emissions is a win-win for business and the environment. It brings about cost savings and reduces the number of offsets required to mitigate your remaining emissions.

The information and tips provided below are mainly for individuals, but many are useful to organisations and events. Additionally, we provide information tailored to your needs as you go through the process for carboNZero certification.

There are many simple, low- or no-cost ways to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Check the tips to find out how you can reduce emissions from transport, home energy-use, and waste. If you're really keen there are some more challenging actions you can take to change the way you live your life!

Remember – saving energy also saves you money and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an important part of achieving carboNZero certification. It is extremely important to try and reduce emissions as much as possible before mitigating (offsetting) the remainder.

Energy use in your home

The average New Zealand household spends $1,200 per year on home energy. Some of this is fixed costs, and the rest is costs associated with how many units of energy are used. The following table shows just where the energy is used.

Domestic Energy Consumption

Energy use in New Zealand households
(EECA Energy End-Use database)

Savings can be made in the following areas:

General tips for energy-efficient homes

Tips for energy-efficient home heating

Keeping your home warm, healthy and comfortable is most important. However, there are many ways to make the heating of your home more efficient. You can save money and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

Energy-efficient appliances

Domestic appliances are responsible for 15% of home electricity. Many of the changes in the way we use appliances cost little or nothing at all.

Kitchen appliances

In the laundry

Bathroom appliances

Other appliances

Efficient water heating

The most electricity saving gains can be made through efficient water heating. Forty-five percent of your electricity bill is due to hot water heating.

Energy-efficient lighting

Ten percent of domestic electricity is used in lighting.

Energy-efficient transport

Travelling in motorised transport, whether it be to work, play, holiday or to get the groceries, creates some of the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Much more efficient cars are coming into the national fleet. Air travel is a large source of greenhouse gases.

Waste: buying and recycling tips

For most of us, the way we live creates huge amounts of waste. Organic matter in particular (kitchen waste and garden trimmings) produces the greenhouse gas methane when disposed to landfill. All the goods and services we use in our everyday life also have large amounts of carbon dioxide embodied in them that add to our impacts on climate change. If we can be more careful about what we buy, the waste we produce and how we deal with waste, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to our resource use and waste generation.

Some tips on waste reduction:

Useful links

The following New Zealand website links are packed with information, resources, ideas and practical actions on energy savings, home design, energy-saving appliances, renewable-energy options and more.

Individuals

Organisations