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How we're responding to climate change

Responding to climate change banner

Responding to climate change means reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the expected impacts on Tauranga that will result from a changing climate.

Council is committed to reducing its impact on the climate, and since 2017 has implemented changes around everyday operations and taken steps to ensure the impact is reducing.

Delivering a climate resilient future requires us to take part in transformational action to reduce vehicle emissions, improve energy efficiency in our facilities, minimise waste to landfills and change consumption patterns.

Alongside the changes we’ve already made, we’re currently developing a Climate Action and Investment Plan for the city.

If you would like to be involved in the development of this plan, please email sustainability.waste@tauranga.govt.nz

Reducing our emissions

Greater Tauranga Travel Pledge (GTTP)

The Greater Tauranga Travel Pledge aims to address public health and environmental impacts, and traffic congestion by investigating and implementing flexible working arrangements where practicable for the council, enabling active forms of transport for both staff commutes and work-related travel, and implementing other opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint relating to commuting.

Through the GTTP the council has committed to:

  • investigating and implementing flexible working arrangements where practicable
  • supporting and enabling active forms of transport for both staff commute and work-related travel
  • investigate and implement other opportunities to reduce environmental / carbon footprint relating to how their teams travel for and to work.

The council’s travel initiatives and programmes aim to:

  • reduce the total number of staff driving to work in a single occupancy car through increases in car sharing, cycling, walking, scootering and public transport travel
  • encourage and support behavioural change in travel patterns
  • discourage the unnecessary use of private vehicles for business purposes
  • support efficient use of the council’s fleet
  • improve the health and fitness of staff through promoting walking, cycling and other active travel modes.

More information on the GTTP

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA)

EECA’s purpose is to mobilise New Zealanders to be world leaders in clean and clever energy use.

Since beginning work with EECA in 2017, Council has reduced its energy consumption with LED, heating and pump replacements throughout several sites and facilities. 

In September 2021, council signed a new agreement with EECA to employ an energy graduate who will work across the council to deliver 2GWh energy savings (with a minimum of 1GWh from electricity). 

Projects that will contribute to achieving this target include installing a hydroelectric power plant at Joyce Road, operating water supply (intake) pumps at best efficiency points, and energy use audits.

Find out more about EECA

Waste minimisation and recycling

Council is updating its Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2022 – 2028 (WMMP) which contains an overview of the kind of waste issues we’re dealing with in our city, our vision, goals and objectives, and our action plan to achieve them.

View the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan 2022-2028

Future Fit is a simple yet powerful way to determine a person or family’s impact on the planet through everyday choices. Future Fit provides a snapshot of a user’s carbon footprint through questions relating to lifestyle such as food, transport, and home heating. The initiative was rolled out to the Tauranga and wider Bay of Plenty community in May 2023, and it is being promoted within Tauranga City Council to staff. Wider Bay of Plenty communities are invited to get involved through their own local councils.

Visit futurefit.nz to get started on your climate journey. Some changes may seem small but together our small changes all add up.

Reducing embodied carbon

The Government has signalled a clear commitment to reduce carbon emissions, which has prompted us to look at ways of mitigating the impact of our capital works projects on the wider environment. While ‘operational’ carbon is emitted steadily throughout a life of an asset, up to 80% of ‘embodied’ carbon emissions are released between material extraction and construction.

So far council has focused on reducing operational carbon of our assets and as these are decreasing, we are now also looking at ways to reduce the embodied carbon of our assets. For embodied carbon we currently focus on ‘Cradle to Practical Completion’ where the majority of savings can be made, but whole of life emissions are considered for projects that will have an ongoing operational emissions profile.

Toitu CarbonReduce

Since 2018 Council has measured and monitored its carbon footprint under the Toitu CarbonReduce programme. To measure our footprint, we first had to identify the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) across Council facilities such as waste, electricity, diesel, petrol, air travel, LPG, accommodation, taxi, refrigerants, emissions from the Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP), etc. This data is collected yearly and the carbon footprint is calculated by using the quantify of the activity (e.g. kWh used) multiplied by the emission factor. The common unit used to represent all GHG emissions in a carbon footprint is tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Under the Toitu CarbonReduce certification, the council has committed to a 15% reduction in operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2024 (on a 18/19 baseline). Our carbon footprint is audited annually, and we review, revise and adopt a new EMRP every three years.

Adapting to our changing climate

Our region’s first climate change risk assessment gives us a clear picture of the climate risks we can expect over the coming decades and rates them over time.

Regional Risk Assessment


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