Kaitiakitanga at ChildFund... How we're showing environmental responsibility

Kaitiakitanga at ChildFund... How we're showing environmental responsibility

We all have a part to play in keeping our environment safe and protected.

At ChildFund New Zealand, we are dedicated to maximising our positive impacts and reducing our negative impacts on the environment through the programmes and projects we support. In fact, we even have an Environmental Policy that places a focus on kaitiakitanga (environmental stewardship). 

Our SAFE approach and cross-cutting tool ensure all new projects are viewed through an environmental lens, which helps us to design, implement and monitor projects to avoid negative environmental impact.

In 2020, we took a few extra steps to demonstrate our responsible stewardship for the environment:

  • Our CEO, Paul Brown, worked with the ChildFund Alliance to create an environmental standards paper for adoption by all ChildFund Alliance members
  • The ChildFund New Zealand office moved into a shared space, Grid/AKL, to improve the way we work and our carbon footprint. As pictured below, our new space has a 6 Star Green Rating, energy efficient air conditioning featuring increased outdoor air rates, CO2 control and mixed-mode climate control and environmentally sustainable LED lighting. Since the building’s completion, Grid/AKL has recorded an approximate 70% reduction in water and 35% power usage in comparison to a similar sized building, alongside an increase in productivity and reduction in absenteeism. The new space also supports people to cycle to work with end-of-journey facilities with ample cycle parks, shower and changing rooms, drying room, and lockers.
  • One of the contracted outcomes of our IMPACT Programme is disaster risk reduction. This acknowledges that the environment and climate change are root causes of poverty, and can be the cause of a raft of other social problems such as human trafficking, early marriage, child labour, and conflict.
  • Our projects in Kenya have continued to plant trees as both an income strategy, plus we use this as part of our carbon-offsetting plan.

Our analysis of ChildFund New Zealand's carbon emissions is as follows:

In FY18, we emitted a total of 90.03 tCO2 and flights (80.23 tCO2) accounted for around 89% of the emission. In FY19, we were able to substantially reduce CO2 emissions through flight by almost 50% (49.8 to 1.d.p), which comes to 40.24 tCO2 only. Flight restrictions due to Covid-19 reduced this figure by another 25% in FY20 compared to FY19, where we emitted only 29.82 tCO2.

Since flights account for most CO2 emission, a reduction in this number means a reduction in the overall tCO2 produced for FY20, which is only 37.21 tCO2 (~23% reduction compared to FY19). Figure 2 below shows tCO2 emission breakdown by month. Notice the significant drop in tCO2 emission surrounding the months when New Zealand had travel restriction in place due to Covid-19, best described by Figure 3.

We’ve already planted 516 moringa trees in FY19. We planted a further 2,650 moringa trees in FY20. Figure 4 shows the end result of a scenario based on the following assumptions:

  • It takes 1 year for Moringa trees to mature and start absorbing CO2
  • A mature Moringa tree (i.e. 1 year old tree) absorbs 0.08 tCO2 in a year
  • Our tCO2 emission remains same in the following years

Figure 4 shows that by the end of FY21, we will have a positive tCO2 balance, i.e., we’ll have absorbed more CO2 from the environment than we have emitted.