Ecotricity becomes climate positive

Consumers wanting to lower their carbon footprint can now choose Ecotricity’s Toitū climate positive certified electricity and help to significantly reduce the country’s CO2 emissions. 

Ecotricity, which has just become the first energy company to be Toitū climate positive certified, supplies the national grid with power sourced only from hydro, wind or solar sources.

Because electricity is an interchangeable commodity throughout New Zealand, Ecotricity are very accurately able to account for how much energy their customers are using and how much they need to purchase from climate positive certified, renewable resources on an annualised basis.

To achieve climate positive status, the company has gone through a rigorous process with Toitū Envirocare, whose certifications are internationally recognised data-led and science-based environmental programmes.  

This involved the measurement of Ecotricity’s carbon footprint for its entire value chain and setting absolute science-aligned reduction targets. As well as offsetting remaining emissions through carbon credits at 125 per cent to go beyond neutrality. Plus contributing a further 75 per cent of its carbon footprint by supporting Toitū-approved local environmental and social projects.

“Despite many New Zealanders’ well-placed intentions to act against climate change, their ability to take action is increasingly being put under pressure by more immediate personal socio-economic challenges,” Ecotricity’s founder and managing director Al Yates says.

The average New Zealander emits over 6 tonnes of Co2 per year, of which about 1.4 tonnes comes from electricity usage.  

“Other electricity retailers are using coal, gas and geothermal – which contribute to 1.4 tonnes of emissions,” says Yates. “Ecotricity’s climate positive certified electricity generation comes only from renewable sources so it’s a simple, easy and effective way for Kiwis to immediately eliminate their emissions.”

It is also worth noting here that there is currently no way consumers in New Zealand can ensure that they only receive ‘green’ electricity from the national grid.

This is because there would need to be a separate green energy grid, connecting renewable sources directly to households and the environmental and financial costs of building this would be significant.

However, Ecotricity believes it’s more important to focus on the generation side to help get the New Zealand electricity grid to 100 per cent renewable.

“Our certification is based on international protocols and United Nations Product Specifications for supplying electricity from renewable sources. The reason it is important to support climate positive certified electricity is so that new renewable electricity is developed, in particular wind and solar, so by choosing Ecotricity you are encouraging more electricity generation through sustainable means.”

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