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September 23, 2019 | by  | in News | [ssba]

VUW Launches Plan to be Carbon Neutral by 2030


As part of Sustainability Week, Victoria University has launched a Zero Carbon Plan. The plan aims to make the university a net zero emissions organisation by 2030, with a 20% reduction in gross emissions, and offsetting schemes to make the activities to make up the rest.


The launch of the plan was held in the Hub on September 13. A panel, including Grant Guilford and James Shaw, spoke about the values of sustainability. 


The panel answered questions on the impact of aviation for staff in the university, the business opportunities of sustainability, and the scholarships the university offers which are funded by petrochemical corporations. 


Andrew Wilks said that Grant Guilford was the “chief cheerleader for the Zero Carbon Plan” 

Although the launch coincided with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, there was no mention of how the plan would incorporate mātauranga Māori beyond the Living Pā proposal. 


There was no formal consultation with Māori or Pacific groups in the process of creating the plan, according to Wilks. However, there are opportunities for continued engagement with Māori in the future.


The university’s push for international students, who must fly to attend university is “an awkward element, there’s no way around it,” said Wilks. 


Student flights are not incorporated into emissions accounting, as that is “not done anywhere else”.


Emissions will be reduced through low-emission development of buildings on campus, replacing natural gas boilers with low-emission alternatives, and generating renewable energy on campus, mainly through solar panels. 


Offsetting will largely be done by tree planting and managed by the university. As part of the Zero Carbon Plan, the university has revised its emissions accounting to be more accurate. 



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