Carbon sequestration: Forestry opportunities
Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide, for example, by planting trees.
Despite Wellington's compact urban area, we've been proactively planting and protecting what forested areas we do have.
Although council-owned land for forestry is minimal, there are still rural areas suitable for planting trees.
The promotion of planting on private land will be done alongside planting of our own land holdings where possible.
It is also important to understand and promote the balance between native and exotic plant species, as while native trees are key to biodiversity, exotic plants capture and store much more carbon and many can be planted alongside natives.
Measuring our emissions
We measure and publicly report our corporate emissions annually.
Our corporate emissions include things like the energy used to operate our buildings and community facilities, streetlights, and water network; and emissions from our vehicle use and corporate travel.
The biggest area of our corporate emissions comes from our Council-owned facilities that we operate on behalf of the city, like the Southern Landfill and wastewater treatment plants. While these contribute about 8% of emissions to our city inventory, they make up over 80% of our Council inventory.
We have been measuring the Council’s annual Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, as well as a selection of Scope 3 emissions, for many years. From mid-2021, we started measuring Scope 3 emissions from our full value chain, including all our suppliers. This gives us a more complete picture of our emissions. Measuring the emissions from our entire value chain is in alignment with best practice.
By choosing a methodology that gives us the most complete picture of our emissions, it enables us to see the full range of reduction opportunities. However, for some emissions sources, the calculation can only give an approximate picture. More information on how this is calculated can be found in Te Atakura: First to Zero 2022 (1.8MB PDF).