Sustainability Office Update: Work to help reduce Massey’s carbon footprint

Over the last few months, Te Ohu Toitūtanga/The Sustainability Office has continued work to meet the energy, transport and waste targets in Massey’s 2021-2030 Climate Action Plan, and our biodiversity aspirations.

Energy reviews – save energy in your department
You may well have met Tian Wang, our EECA-supported Energy Efficiency Officer. Tian uses a portable data logger to monitor equipment like air compressors, electric boilers and chillers to identify hot-spots in our energy usage across the campuses. Currently, she is working on decommissioning the air compressor located at Plant Growth Unit and replacing all pneumatic actuators with electric ones. She has been working closely with high energy users such as the vet clinic, Equine and Wildbase, making improvements in all surgery areas by adjusting schedules, improving controls and redesigning the system based on the current operation requirements.  Contact Tian if you would like to know more or how she could help with energy usage in your department.  
Other updates in work to reduce energy-related carbon emissions include two gas boilers at Albany being replaced with renewable energy and more EV chargers for our fleet of vehicles on the Wellington and Manawatū campus. Plans are being developed for the installation of solar panels on the roof of the new IC building at Albany, and a solar farm at the southern end of the Manawatū campus.  

Full waste audits completed to measure food and single-use plastic waste
Due to the Catalysing Climate Action funding from the Vice-Chancellor earlier this year, we have been able to complete full waste audits on all three campuses, in conjunction with PreCycle (Palmerston North), Sustainability Trust (Wellington) and OCS (Albany). Thank you to all those who helped with this very messy activity! Please click here for their respective waste audit presentations. Based on the findings, we will be focusing efforts into 2023 on reducing organic and food waste and our consumption of single use plastics. For further information, contact Dr Allanah Ryan, our Director of Sustainability.  

Green Impact – embed Sustainable practices in your department and workspaces
Green Impact is coming in 2023 to help focus our efforts. Building on the Walking the Sustainability Talk approach, Green Impact is an established tool used by universities globally to track and reward staff and students for embedding sustainable practices within their departments and workspaces. The Sustainability Office will be working with DVC Māori to embed Te Ao Māori into this work. Many of us are already taking steps every day towards a more sustainable workplace! Can you think of teammates, colleagues or friends you would like to team up with? Perhaps you already have a small eco-cohort, or have been part of a green team before? Contact Charlie Potter, our Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, for more details and look out in the New year for how you can participate. 

Commuting survey
We have had a very low student response to our recent commuting survey; only 1%, with 18% of staff. Thank you to all those who completed the survey, which is the first one we’ve been able to do since Covid-19 closed our campuses. We are working through the results and, unsurprisingly, the biggest contributor to our commuting emissions profile is private vehicle commuting. We will be releasing further details, along with recommendations to help support Massey staff and students in making lower-carbon commuting choices

Native tree plantings
Finally, The Sustainability Office supported the MUSA-led event to plant over 500 native trees on the Manawatū campus. Great job!