SkyCity announces carbon neutrality with Sky tower switch off

SkyCity announces carbon neutrality with Sky tower switch off

SkyCity Entertainment Group’s three New Zealand precincts in Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown have been certified carbon neutral by Enviro-Mark Solutions.

SkyCity announces carbon neutrality with Sky tower switch offTo mark this milestone, and SkyCity’s commitment to climate change action, the Sky Tower’s external lights will be turned off from today, until mid-December, and replaced with LED bulbs. The switch will reduce total energy consumption to externally light by 10%.

The Sky Tower is also being assessed by the New Zealand Green Building Council to receive their Green Star Performance rating which will further reduce carbon emissions.

Graeme Stephens, CEO of SkyCity Entertainment Group, says that carbon neutrality is a significant step, however, the real challenge lies with reducing emissions.

“While SkyCity isn’t one of New Zealand’s largest contributors to emissions, we strongly believe in taking action on climate change.

“SkyCity has the means to reduce our emissions, so we should, especially if it can help other businesses who aren’t yet in the position to offset or reduce their impact on the environment.

“On a weekly basis, thousands of local and international guests are welcomed to our SkyCity New Zealand precincts. Now, when our customers visit, they can be confident that they are in a carbon neutral environment,” says Mr Stephens.

To be certified carbon neutral, SkyCity has paid $86,000 to offset the equivalent of 12,866 tonnes of carbon, measured in FY19.

The carbon credits purchased through Enviro-Mark Solutions are generated by international projects, which will fund 48,000 solar household cookers for rural communities in China and help build wind farm capacity in India to replace fossil fuel alternatives.

SkyCity has committed to a $25 internal levy per tonne of carbon, a quarter of which will go towards offsetting. The remaining three quarters will be invested into an internal Green Fund to finance emission reduction projects, chosen by employees and the Green Fund committee, to then be implemented around the business.

SkyCity employees also have the opportunity to measure and offset their own household carbon footprints, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by SkyCity to go into the Green Fund.

SkyCity Group Manager Sustainability, Courtney Simpson, says that over the past year, the SkyCity team across New Zealand have implemented a range of initiatives to help meet science-based emission reduction targets, across all parts of the business.

“From the seemingly small initiatives, such as removing plastic straws and replacing these with plant-based alternatives, to the large projects, such as upgrading the chillers that keep our buildings cool, no area of the business has been overlooked in finding ways to reduce our impact on climate change.

“Through these initiatives, SkyCity has reduced its scope one and two GHG emissions (gas, fuel, and electricity) by 13% with a target of 38% by 2030. SkyCity has also reduced waste sent to landfill by 21%, including 314 tonnes of food waste being commercially composted,” says Ms Simpson.

In May 2018, SkyCity was proud to become a signatory to the Climate Leaders Coalition, and hosted the first anniversary event in July, where signatories agreed to their second pledge to combat climate change.

SkyCity’s Adelaide property will be certified carbon neutral in 2020, and the New Zealand International Convention Centre, which will also operate as a carbon neutral venue, following completion of construction next year.

To become carbon neutral, SkyCity has measured its total New Zealand emissions (10,119 tonnes of carbon (tCO2e) + 2,747 tCO2e in flights) and has offset these emissions by purchasing carbon credits from Enviro-Mark Solutions.

To further its emission and waste reduction, SkyCity has implemented a number of key projects around the business, each adding up to make a big difference;

• The casino environment has been optimised with b-tune to significantly reduce energy consumption and emissions

• The chillers which power the air conditioning and water throughout the Auckland site have also been upgraded to be more energy efficient

• SkyCity bars and restaurants save on single use bottles, by offering beer and wine on tap

• The amenities in the hotel rooms are made from recycled milk bottles

• Chefs in the SkyCity kitchens use food scraps efficiently, using or disposing of them in the most sustainable way possible

• The lights in the SkyCity Hamilton car parks are all LED, saving on energy consumption

• One million plastic straws have been removed from SkyCity in the last year. Only plant-based straws can now be found on any of its New Zealand sites

SkyCity engages an internal climate change committee and external advisory groups to ensure best practice is followed in the reduction of its emissions and

The first step in its climate change journey, SkyCity is committed to doing it right, where SkyCity’s senior leaders have established a climate change committee to regularly discuss progress and future reduction plans. The correct advisory groups and mechanisms will be in place to ensure SkyCity achieves it targets and learn and develop as they go.

Images and the video can be found here.