Inbox: Saving energy & scoring awards

A programme that’s saved more than $500 million in energy costs has won Air New Zealand the title of supreme winner at the 2012 EECA Awards.
The airline, which also won in the transport category, has cut energy use by 15 percent and CO2 emissions by 142,000 tonnes year – difficult task in the energy-intensive aviation sector. It was praised not only for its success in cutting fuel use, but also for being an energy-saving influence on other businesses, locally and globally.
Air New Zealand has pioneered commercial biofuel trials, and is also driving the push across the industry for shorter, more direct routes to reduce travel time and fuel burn.
The award was presented at ceremony on 23 May, where winners across nine energy categories were announced.
The judges particularly noted Air New Zealand’s courage in aiming to become the ‘world’s most sustainable airline’ – and the positive flow-on effect for other Kiwi businesses as result, particularly in tourism and export sectors.
Other big winners on the night included New Zealand Post Group, which won the energy management and public sector awards for project that’s avoided more than $5.6 million in energy and transport costs, and ASB, which took the large business award for its long-running Save Watt programme.
ASB has run its Save Watt programme since 2004, with strong focus on engaging staff through an online Energy Tracker tool. It’s saving $850,000 year in energy costs, more than repaying the $2 million invested in its programme.
NZ Post Group’s operation – which includes KiwiBank and Express Couriers – covers 16,000 vehicles and 900 retails outlets, making it New Zealand’s second largest retailer.
Judges commended its energy reduction efforts for being driven from the top, with strong management buy-in. “This approach is what is missing in the market – fantastic example of holistic energy process done well, with valid outcomes,” they said.
New Plymouth District Council was co-winner in the public sector category for an energy management programme saving $200,000 year.
The awards attracted nearly 90 entries, with the combined value of energy projects entered totalling more than $600 million.
For more on the 2012 EECA Awards see www.eecabusiness.govt.nz/awards. M

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