Leading the charge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Tairāwhiti
Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the world today. And it’s one of our greatest responsibilities as an organisation to play our part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the communities in which we operate.
Eastland Group is a Gisborne-based infrastructure and logistics company. We run Tairāwhiti’s lines company, port and airport, along with geothermal power plants in the Bay of Plenty and a hydro scheme near Wairoa.
The CLC includes some of New Zealand’s largest businesses. By signing up, we committed to:
For Eastland Group to play its part, we first needed to robustly measure our emissions.
Scope 1: Direct emissions ie mobile combustion, geothermal.
Scope 2: Indirect emissions but with direct control and responsibility ie. electricity use, transmission and distribution losses.
Scope 3: Emissions that occur upstream and downstream in the value chain ie. waste, business travel, use of sold products.
Inventory is made in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol 2004 (Corporate and Accounting Standard).
Eastland Group’s first GHG inventory is based on our financial year ending March 31 2019.
This table shows the total GHG emissions of Trust Tairāwhiti and Eastland Group sectors.
Note: Te Ahi O Maui is excluded from the Eastland Generation figure as the data was collected and analysed for the 2019 financial year. Te Ahi O Maui had not completed a full year of operation at this stage, and will be included in subsequent years’ reporting.
The results were largely to be expected given the areas in which we operate. They are comparable to the results shared by other large infrastructure companies in these sectors.
The bulk of the emissions are from our geothermal power plants, marine operations, log yard waste and from the use of electricity as it’s transported over the network (this will improve over time as the grid decarbonises).
But we can do much better.
These are science-based reduction targets. The Eastland Group and Trust Tairāwhiti target is set using the Absolute Emissions Contraction methodology. Eastland Generation is split out separately and follows the Sector Decarbonisation Approach, which is the standard used in this sector.
While there are emissions from electricity generated from geothermal energy, they are small when compared to generation from diesel, gas or coal. A 25MW geothermal plant like Te Ahi O Maui will produce around 15,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum (which equates to an emission intensity of 72 gCO2e/kWh). By comparison, the equivalent energy generated from coal produces 200,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum; from gas the figure is between 81,000 and 110,000 tonnes of CO2e per annum, depending on the technology used. This means that producing power from renewable geothermal resources has 7.7% of the greenhouse gas emissions of coal-fired generation, and between 13.7% and 18.5% of the emissions of gas-fired generation.
Together with Trust Tairāwhiti, Eastland Group already champions a variety of environmentally-focused projects that support sustainability within the Tairāwhiti region.
As part of the focus on sustainable and renewable energy, 90 percent of Eastland Group’s non-commercial vehicle fleet is electric.
We have established a region-wide electric vehicle fast charging network; will be introducing New Zealand’s first electric water truck at Eastland Port; and are undertaking long term solar PV trials, covering both domestic and commercial use.
We continue to explore options for local renewable energy generation, including solar PV, wind, and wood waste to energy.
And we are continuing to promote and share our Power to the People energy efficiency programme.
Each sector — Eastland Port, Eastland Network and Eastland Generation, plus Gisborne Airport — is looking at smart ways to reduce the group’s overall carbon footprint.
We believe that we can be a leader in steering Tairāwhiti towards zero carbon through renewable energy and facilitating the transition to electric vehicles.
As one of the largest organisations in Tairāwhiti, we hope to use our position within the region, and learnings from the Coalition, to encourage other local businesses to step up and join us in the fight against climate change.
Human activity is accelerating climate change. Along with focusing on reducing our own emissions, we will be working with our customers, suppliers and regional stakeholders to show how they can reduce their emissions.
We’re begun talking to some of them, to gauge what they’re already doing and what they’re planning. This will inform part of our policy in the future.
In November 2019, the New Zealand Government passed the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act. This provides a framework by which New Zealand can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies that:
The headline goal is to reduce New Zealand’s net emissions of all greenhouse gases (except biogenic methane) to zero by 2050.