To provide our guests with safe, comfortable and luxurious tours we depend on traditional petrol powered vehicles with significant CO2 emissions – there is just no getting away from this! Much as we would prefer to use electric powered vehicles for our tours, they are neither affordable nor available in suitable configurations. So we are stuck with petrol, in preference to diesel which creates further emission issues.
So, we must take responsibility for our emissions and pay to have them recovered and converted into something ecologically acceptable.
Fortunately there are companies that specialise in auditing emissions from vehicles and domestic fossil fuel use, and Day Out has chosen to work with Wellington based EKOS (www.ekos.org.nz) who have developed a series of calculators and algorithms with which to determine the CO2 emissions of any fossil fuel business and establish how many tonnes have been released in to the atmosphere. Day Out is annually audited through a detailed accounting of vehicle types, fuel used, engine size, fuel consumption rates, etc.; in addition EKOS do a full audit of business or home emissions from electricity or other energy use for heating, cooking, etc.. They can even calculate the emissions used on your holiday flight!
So how much do we emit? As a quick reference point, the average family car emits around one tonne of CO2 under normal traffic and load conditions every 10,000 kms travelled.
So what happens next? Having established the ‘weight’ of our annual vehicle and business emissions in tonnes of CO2, Day Out then buys the equivalent carbon credits through EKOS, these currently cost about NZ$30 per tonne. These are supplied through organisations such as Plan Vivo (www.planvivo.org) who use the purchase money to invest directly into forestry projects throughout the southern hemisphere, or through the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme certification programme. The purchased carbon credits meanwhile are immediately invalidated so they cannot be traded again in the future.
This means that every gram of CO2, or measurable emission from any energy source that Day Out uses in conducting its business, emitted to atmosphere, is accounted for and recovered, maybe not immediately as the compensatory trees are planted and grow, but over time our CO2 will be locked up in a resource that safely guards it and enhances and beautifies our lives, as well as generating that all important oxygen.
Are we really CarbonZero? Yes, if you accept we take full responsibility for our emissions and pay to have them removed from the atmosphere. Not perfect, but as good as it can be at present.
Day Out is proud to lead the way in the Nelson region by providing a responsible CarbonZero experience for all our guests.