One of New Zealand's top environmental awards has gone to Auckland Museum for its hefty greenhouse gas emission reductions over recent years.
Environment Minister Hon Amy Adams presented the museum with a 2013 Green Ribbon Award at a function at Parliament last tonight (5 June 2013). The award was for the Green Ribbon Award category: "Reducing our Greenhouse Gas Emissions".
Auckland Museum's carbon footprint was reduced by 31% over the past two years, producing savings of $340,000 this year. In 2011 Auckland Museum became the first museum in the world to gain certification for its carbon emissions under the independent CEMARS™ scheme.
A 21% reduction in the museum's carbon emissions for 2012 was largely achieved through improvements in air conditioning control strategies and systems, which cut consumption of natural gas and electricity. Other contributors were increased recycling by the public and staff, improved power-saving by staff and more use of energy efficient LED lighting.
The 31% reduction in overall carbon emissions for the past two years (2011 and 2012) was made up of natural gas consumption reductions of 49%, electricity consumption reductions of 17% and air travel and waste carbon emission reductions of 22%.
Auckland Museum Director Roy Clare paid tribute to staff and volunteers for achieving the sustainability results of recent years which resulted in this 2013 Green Ribbon Award. He described the reduction in the museum's carbon footprint as an essential contribution to the global green agenda for change.
"Our environmental strategy strongly reflects Kaitiakitanga - one of three guiding principles at the core of our strategy for the future. Environmental savings help us provide excellent value for money and pay for new, innovative programmes that better serve our diverse audiences.
"We understand that Aucklanders and the tourists who visit the museum expect us to make continual improvements to our environmental performance. We aspire to lead the way, set the standard for others where possible and help the people of Auckland benefit from a cleaner environment and thriving tourism sector."
In 2013 the museum aims to cut emissions by at least a further 5.7%, through sending less waste to landfill, reducing travel and achieving more gas and electricity savings. Alternative energy sources are also being investigated.