The three year certification was given to the Wellington Gardens after a rigorous process, which included operations at the Wellington Botanic Garden, Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Truby King Park and Bolton Street Cemetery.
The process began in September 2018 when David Sole, the former Manager of the Wellington Gardens, was motivated by Botanic Gardens around the world taking on an activist role and advocating for sustainability and being proactive in the face of climate change.
Wellington Gardens Manager Rewi Elliot says this an incredibly significant moment for the Gardens and staff who have all worked really hard in order to achieve this certification.
“It is a demanding process to become CarbonZero as you have to record all information around energy and consumption across all areas of operation, at all times. We are really proud to have achieved this certification and are looking forward to seeing more organisations around Wellington do the same.”
The focus was on four key areas – reducing waste, energy consumption, travel and fuel.
Some of the initiatives Wellington Gardens have introduced include reducing their energy by reviewing how they manage their glasshouses, and by turning off lights and computers when they are not in use. They have reduced waste by removing rubbish bins across the gardens with the idea that ‘what you bring with you is what you take out with you.’
“This has encouraged the public to think about their waste and take responsibility for what they purchase and bring with them to our spaces,” adds Rewi.
In terms of travel, the Wellington Gardens team have future plans to reduce travel to meetings both nationally and regionally. They have also reduced fuel consumption by progressively replacing power tools to with electric models. Next on the list is moving their entire car fleet to EV or hybrids as each car comes up for replacement.
Natural Environment portfolio lead, Councillor Teri O’Neill, says it’s important that Wellington City Council leads the way for a better collective future for the capital.
“Wellington Gardens join Wellington Zoo and Zealandia under the Wellington City Council umbrella moving towards Zero Carbon. The Council itself is Toitū Carbonreduce certified, and continues to look at ways to minimise and manage the impact we have now, and the footprint we leave behind,” says Councillor O’Neill.
A ceremony will be held within the next fortnight where Toitū will present the award to the Wellington Gardens.