Source: Environmental Protection Authority
This is also 54% lower than the baseline set in 2017/18, the first year the EPA was certified in the scheme.
EPA Chief Executive, Dr Allan Freeth, says the result has been achieved through staff awareness campaigns and a review of the travel policy.
“While the COVID-19 lockdown during the months of April through to June would have played some part in reducing this year’s emissions, the audit reporting period was from 1 July 2019 through to the end of June 2020. This means we were still reducing our emissions considerably during nine months of business as usual.
“From small changes like introducing boomerang bags – shopping bags that staff use then return – through to bigger changes like limiting travel, I’m proud of the way we’ve made such encouraging progress towards meeting our emissions target.
“We have committed to reducing our emissions in three target areas – electricity use, reduction in waste to landfill and emissions related to staff travel.”
In July 2018, the EPA signed up to an environmental certification programme with Toitū Envirocare (previously Enviro-Mark Solutions) to measure, manage, and minimise our environmental impacts.
Through this programme, we are already working towards three of the requirements of the government’s new Carbon Neutral Government Programme:
- measure, verify and report our organisations’ emissions annually
- gross emissions reductions targets and longer-term reduction plans for the next decade, and
- introduce a phased work programme to reduce our organisations’ emissions.
The Carbon Neutral Government Programme requires the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.