Christchurch Airport has taken out the Efficiency Champion
category of the Sustainable
Business Network Awards after dramatically reducing its energy use
and focusing on using cleaner energy sources.
The NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards have been running
for 15 years and are
the pre-eminent and longest-standing sustainability awards in New
Zealand. The 2017 Awards ceremony was held last night at a gala
dinner in Auckland.
Since 2013, when it opened its new $237 million terminal,
Christchurch Airport has cut its total energy (electricity, diesel
and gas) use by 21%.
General Manager Strategy & Sustainability Rhys Boswell says
the airport saved 6.6% or 950,000 kilowatt hours in the past 12
months alone - that's enough to power 120 medium-sized kiwi homes
for a year.
"This is remarkable work from the team involved and we are very
proud of them, especially given these savings have been achieved
when we've had record numbers of passengers through the terminal,"
The terminal was built with the world's first large-scale system
that borrows pure Canterbury artesian water (from the aquifer under
the terminal) to heat and cool the building.
Rhys Boswell says a lot of work has gone into fine tuning this
system, and the way the terminal is used, to maximise energy
"Initially, our aim was to have the terminal's annual energy use
at 24 kilowatt hours per square metre by 2017. The team smashed
that quickly. They then broke our goal for 2020 and then the target
we set for 2025**. We are very proud of this."
As well as achieving efficiencies in the heating and cooling of
the building, the airport has introduced Electric Vehicles to its
fleet, changed to LED lighting and refined the operation of its
Building Management System.
Rhys Boswell says the airport has also installed new electric
Ground Power Units (GPUs) on four of the terminal's aircraft
"These mean planes can be plugged into our electricity network
while they are on the ground in Christchurch. Otherwise they have
to burn fuel to power run their systems. Now every day when the
Emirates A380 flies in, it plugs into a GPU and saves 1,000 kg of
fuel or 3,150 kilograms of carbon emissions each
Christchurch Airport's success in energy efficiency helped
inspire the creation of its first Sustainability Strategy. The
strategy challenges the company to measure, report and most
importantly continually improve its performance in the five key
areas - water, energy, waste, land and noise.
Rhys Boswell says the strategy has the support of everyone at
CIAL, including the Board.
"This empowers and motivates the team to innovate and try new
things, so we improve
our sustainability performance. Not everything we try works, and
that's accepted - the important thing is that we continue to
The airport released its first Sustainability Report in October
2017 showing improvements had been made in each of those areas.
"We're now able to measure our water use in real time, our
recycling rates are increasing, we have a world-first system for
managing noise around engine testing and last year we remediated
14.75 hectares of land that had been contaminated before our
ownership of it."
Rhys Boswell says Christchurch Airport will continue its focus
on becoming even more sustainable.
"The South Island is one of the best places in the world with a
unique and precious environment that draws millions of people to
visit New Zealand every year. It's our job, as kaitiaki, to ensure
we do our best to look after this place. To protect, and where
improve, it for future generations. We're very proud to be doing
our bit and will always strive to be even better," concludes Rhys
* The target for FY20 was 23.5kWh per square metre and for
FY25 was 22.5 kWh per square metre. In FY17, the terminal used 19.3
kWh per square metre.