— 350 Aotearoa (@350nz) October 18, 2017
From the ODT:
The University of Otago has announced it will halve greenhouse gas emissions created by its energy use within three years.
A University Council decision will enable provider Pioneer Energy to switch from using coal to wood to produce steam for heating and hot water in 29 of the institution’s buildings.
University of Otago vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said the change would push the institution more than halfway to its goal of becoming a carbon-zero campus.
University of Otago office of sustainability manager Hilary Phipps said the move was the ”most significant short-term action” it could take to show leadership, rapidly reduce its carbon footprint and show the institution was doing more than just talking about sustainability.
Good move. And well done 350.org.
Pioneer seem to source their wood (PDF) from pulp logs, low grade wood and forestry residue. It would be good to see Pioneer and the University (and Dunedin City Council) now investing in sustainable forestry. That’s forestry that acts as an ongoing carbon sink and increases biodiversity, rather than the slash and burn approach of much of NZ wood production. Wood for burning for fuel is only renewable and sustainable if the growing and supply lines are too.