There are many tools to measure a company’s progress towards sustainability. We recommand and use the Future-Fit Business Benchmark® because it clearly and comprehensively defines when and how an activity or business will be sustainable.
Developed from The Natural Step principles and science, this audit measures the company’s state in regards of 21 future-fit goals to measure its progress towards 100% sustainability. It covers: Energy, water, procurement and supply chain, operations, products and customers, employees, community and governance.
A future-fit® business adds value to all stakeholders and in no way undermines – and ideally increases – the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever.
More than 30 people turned up to Mount Aspiring College new building and became totally inspired and enthused about the Passive House concept. Introduced by Rafe MacLean – designer of the only certified Passive House in Central Otago, the evening started with a presentation of the passive house standard by local architect Jessica Eyers.
The standard consists in design and construction to ensure comfortable temperature year round with minimal energy inputs as well as excellent air quality, ensuring health and wellbeing as well as minimal ongoing costs.This is achieved with:
– uninterrupted insulation including windows, doors, with careful management of thermal bridges,
– airtight thermal envelope, yet breathable to prevent moisture
– using free heat from the sun, people and appliances
– continuous supply and monitored circulation of fresh air with recovery of heat from the stale air
In short a comfortable, wellventilated building that needs very little energy.
The standard comes with measurement tools and performance tracking tools, including over time. For example, the graph below shows that 7 times a day, kids are breathing oxygen-deprived air in “normal” classroom, whereas Passive House standards keep the CO2 concentration low and fairly even. Stricking!
Despite its name, the standard applies not only to homes but also apartments, offices, hospitals and schools.
This is what Elrond Burrell set out to impress the audience with. Originally a Kiwi and back in New Zealand where he is director of VIA architecture, he spent 10 years working for Architype, UK leading passivehaus sustainable architects. There, he helped design 11 primary schools and one university block, each time improving the energy efficiency, usability and simplicity of the buildings. And two of these schools did not cost more to build than “normal” schools.
Elrond would “love to see the development of NZ schools to a higher standard of health, wellbeing and comfort, not to mention energy efficiency“. Considering the number of schools planned or forecasted in our area, “the message of what is possible and desirable for NZ school buildings needs to get to governing bodies and school leadership teams” he says.
Some guests then visited the Wanaka certified passive house designed by Rafe Maclean.
Southern Sustainable Building Network invites you to a public event on Passive House for School and Business in Wanaka.
Elrond Burrell, Director of VIA Architecture has been invited to speak at a public event on Friday 18th August 2017 at Mt Aspiring College North Block between 7 and 9pm.
“Our children deserve healthy, warm learning environments as well as homes.” He says.
Passive House is a building standard that is energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time. Passive House is not a brand name, but a tried and true construction concept that can be applied by anyone, anywhere, and is particularly valuable to educational and commercial premises.
The Passive House Standard is achieved by means of highly efficient building systems, careful planning and highly efficient components such as super-insulating window frames, highly efficient ventilation units, thermal bridge free connection details, glazing that allows solar gains.
Elrond says, “Too often keeping NZ schools warm in winter comes at a cost of the indoor air quality – windows are shut and the heating turned up. As a result CO2 and humidity builds up leading to drowsy inattentive children (and teachers).”
Elrond Burrell is one of Australasia’s most experienced Passive House specialists, having worked for leading UK sustainable architecture practice Architype for 10 years and has been instrumental in the design and delivery of some of the UK’s largest Passive House apartment buildings, several Passive House schools, as well as Passive House offices, community facilities and homes.
The event is organised by Southern Sustainable Building Network, an informal group of professionals and homeowners who are interested in sustainable construction in Central Otago /Lakes.
Entry with kohā – Confirm attendance by email if possible to firstname.lastname@example.org.For more information please call 021 0279 2481.
Header Photo credit Wilkinson Primary School (Passive House certified) Photo: Juraj Mikurcik / Architype UK
Greenhouse gas reporting is voluntary for businesses and organisations (while already systematic for primary industries).
As New Zealand is bound by international agreements, this reporting will sooner or later be compulsory and likely associated with taxes on CO2-equivalents produced. So we might as well anticipate, begin to measure and take steps to reduce our GHG emissions. This will benefit the planet too which in turn is good for us.
All the information is freely available online but unless it’s your hobby, it looks cumbersome. We know all about it so we can help you! Contact us to begin your voluntary greenhouse gas reporting.
After working on ourselves and improving our households as much as we can, getting involved in our community is a powerful and accessible way to make a positive change. Over the years, I have volunteered in many groups depending on what’s on and the children’s activities. Unsurprisingly, I tend to focus on sustainability-related initiatives. Today, I am leading or committee member of these groups:
MAC Team Green facilitator. For 10 years, I’ve been supporting, encouraging, coordinating students – always different over the years- in making a change in our college. Recycling, fair-trade, solar panels and energy-savings… are fantastic achievements! And we are starting water monitoring as part of the Touchstone project soon.
ALREC secretary. Alpine Lakes Research and Education Centre is an awesome project set up in 2015-16 by late Dr Maggie Lawton and taken forward by her daughter Ella, both my good friends.
Plastic Bag Free Wanaka is Anna Van Riel’s initiative to phase out single-use plastic in our region. Her energy and enthusiasm has brought me into her team of uber-efficient women, having a lot of fun on the way too!
Local Food Wanaka started in 2014 to promote and support the relocalising of food production in the area. Its main event is the very successful Autumn Apple drive.
Friends of Wanaka Wastebusters is a bi-monthly involvement role where we exert our role as guardians of the shares of Wanaka Wastebusters Ltd on behalf of the community.
Timebank secretary. I inherited this hat more than I wanted to have it… From 70 people really eager to create this initiative, it went progressively down to just 2! We are currently switching software and will do a lot more advertising when this is done.
I am also volunteering with Te Kakano as often as I can. Tree planting is the simplest most satisfying way to restore the future.
2 cups of tenacity, 2 cups of altruism, illimited adoration/admiration of nature and life, 1 cup of curiosity, 1 spoon of positive intention, 3000 spoons of time – extracted from super-organisation, 1 pinch of risk-taking and 1 pinch of idealism, this is how I end up with several -probably too many!- hats.
These volunteer activities satisfy five of my fundamental human needs. I feel part and connected to a network of great people. It has taught me a lot over the years, I contribute to positive change and defend what I stand for and most importantly, it is FUN!
Do you want to participate too? Feel free to contact any of these friendly groups.
There are many cheap, easy ways to improve your shop’s environmental sustainability. Changing your lighting can reduce your costs, adding eco-products in your display can attract clients, not giving away plastic bags can save the oceans and marine life… And so on! No small stuff!
We have designed the Retail Eco-makeover, a 10-chapter audit to look deeply into each area, we write an extensive recommendations report and provide help to implement them.
For just $550! You’ll get them back in just a few month in savings and more clients!
With my Local Food Wanaka friends, I’ve been co-organising the Autumn Apple drive for several years. This year, there was a bumper apple crop and a huge turnout, showing the growing interest people have in local food, skills sharing, community building and resilience.
The Montreal Protocol is perhaps the most successful international agreement so far. It demonstrates (and gives hope) that with collective action and political will, catastrophic environmental trends can be reversed. The ozone layer depletion observed in the 1970’s was subsequently attributed to CFC gases (and others). In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed. Government policy makers, politicians, industry people, technologists and consumers contributed to making a change. And now, 10 years after reaching its worst in 2006, it is now confirmed that the ozone hole is reducing and projected to be “filled” by 2065. Whew!
Good news is always worth celebrating, but the point here is that major problems can be solved with global action. Solutions exist -if we start looking-, we just need to decide to make a change. This video, from the UNEP Youtube channel, explains this history of disruption and solution.
Let’s apply the same will and principles to the huge problems we face. All levels must collaborate, international organisations, policy makers, businesses, individuals… The climate crisis is multi-faceted but not impossible to solve. Specialists and scientists have been researching for decades to define, trial and refine many solutions. By aiming at sustainability, we stop contributing to the problem and become part of the solution.
The world is changing; either we choose to change with it or we are left behind. Change can be exciting!
“Change before you have to” said Jack Welch, a great businessman
“Everything is hard, before it’s easy” stated Goethe
“Comply is not a vision” exclaimed visionary entrepreneur, Ray Anderson
“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it“, emphasizes explorer Robert Swan
“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.” warned U. S. Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki.