Our carbon footprint

Here we break down our greenhouse gas emissions for financial year 2019/20 (FY20) and discuss what we are doing to record, manage and reduce them.

We also produce an annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report and are adopting Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) standards. Our three-year TCFD adoption plan is set out in our Annual Report.

FY20 emissions

FY20 emissions are estimated to be 264,946 tCO2e, an increase of 32,709 CO2e, 14% over FY19. This is largely due to measuring a wider scope of emissions and improved data collection methods.

Scope 1 – 5,392 tCO2e, 2% of total emissions

Scope 1 emissions arise from our operations and cover fugitive losses of SF6 and vehicle emissions.

SF6 is used in some high voltage switchgear. Related emissions were 5,037 tCO2-e in FY20 (3,925 tCO2-e in FY19), up 28%. Our target is to limit fugitive loses to less than 0.8% of installed nameplate capacity. At 5,037 tCO2e, related emissions were the equivalent of 0.47% of nameplate capacity. Over the medium to long term, we seek to systematically reduce our use of SF6 dependent equipment.  

Emissions from our 92 vehicles were 355 tCO2e in FY20. Of these, 38 are utes, vans or other light commercial vehicles for which electrified vehicles are not yet available in New Zealand. Of the remaining 54, 26 are plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) and one is a full battery electric vehicle (BEV). We are on track to have 43 electrified vehicles within FY21, with all 54 light passenger vehicles being electrified in FY22 at which time we expect electric utes, vans and other light commercial vehicles to be available.   

Scope 2 – 169,609 tCO2e, 64% of total emissions

Scope 2 emissions arise from electricity usage.

A revised approach to estimating emissions from electricity use in our buildings and substations saw this fall 45% to 448 tCO2e in FY20. We have a building energy efficiency plan in place and are also looking at opportunities to develop local, small scale, renewable generation and battery systems at our substations. 

Transmission losses are a function of the carbon intensity of the generation mix. These increased to 169,161 tCO2e, around 64% of our total emissions. These are set to fall as the system moves from being around 85% renewable in 2020, to 96% in 2025 and 98% in 2035 under current policy settings.

Scope 3 – 89,945 tCO2e, 34% of total emissions

Scope 3 emissions arise from the supply chain.

Supply chain emissions are spread across four categories: purchased goods and services for grid maintenance, 27, 092 tCO2-e, capital goods and construction, 49,348 tCO2-e, purchased goods and services other, 12,124 tCO2-e and, other supply chain such as travel and waste, 1,381 tCO2-e.

We are working across our supply chain to avoid and minimise emissions, especially those associated with the design, construction and maintenance of the electricity transmission grid. This includes developing new, low carbon practices with our service providers and procuring lower carbon materials.

Our emissions reduction target

The biggest contribution we can make to emissions reductions is to enable the move towards a 100% renewable electricity system. If the system moves to be around 96% renewable in 2025, we expect, Scope 2, emissions from transmission losses to fall by around two thirds. With regard to Scope 3, supply-chain, emissions we have commenced a comprehensive programme to investigate how we can reduce these, especially from grid development work.

To date, our target has been to reduce emissions directly under our control. This covers SF6, vehicles and energy use in buildings and sub-stations. Against a 2005 baseline of 8,710 tCO2-e, our goal is to cut them by 60% by 2030. In FY20, they totaled 5,840 tCO2-e, a 33% reduction.

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