Carbon Neutrality

Lake Matheson © P Hlavacek

Lake Matheson © P Hlavacek

We have been actively reducing our emissions for six years...

Christchurch Airport believes it is essential that positive steps are taken to address the climate change perceptions of international travellers visiting New Zealand, while also undertaking proactive efficiency initiatives as a responsible corporate citizen.  

Carbon Neutral Status                 

Six years ago, CIAL became the first airport company in the Southern Hemisphere to attain certified carbon neutral status, through the reduction and offsetting of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions directly generated by the airport company's operations. The airport company received carboNZeroCert TM certification from Landcare Research following a detailed measurement and analysis process. The airport company annually measures, manages, reduces and mitigates GHG arising from its operational business activities.  This process is externally audited each year.

By using a "control approach," CIAL has accounted for 100% of the GHG from operations over which it has control, this includes this includes emissions from the Terminal buildings, Propel - facilities management, Corporate office, Airport Fire Service in addition to the three commercial businesses; International Antarctic Centre, The Wash and Craddocks Car Storage. Consistent with the controls approach GHG emissions from aircraft movements, vehicles not owned by CIAL, and buildings not operated by CIAL are excluded from the CIAL inventory.

The top ten GHG emission sources arising from CIAL operations in 2011-12 are displayed in the chart below.  Electricity use in the terminal is the largest source and equates to 52% of CIAL's total operational emissions.

Current Actions:


The airport company is committed to sustainability and environmental management and has developed an Emissions Reduction Plan to reduce current emissions. Some projects in this plan include:

  • Using groundwater as an energy source for air conditioning in the terminal to reduce electricity use. Groundwater is circulated through the heat exchange and discharges back to ground with no change in quality.
  • Optimising energy use in the terminal by carrying out regular energy audits to address any energy inefficiencies.
  • Undertaking a comprehensive waste minimisation project to reduce volumes of paper, cardboard and organic materials being sent to landfill.
  • Using recycled asphalt in the annual runway maintenance program where possible.
  • Adopting a vehicle replacement policy that includes fuel efficiency and carbon emission considerations.

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