The Otago Museum has achieved CEMARS certification (Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme) through a programme run by Enviro-Mark Solutions, helping organisations to accurately measure their greenhouse gas emissions, and put in place strategies to manage and reduce impacts.
The process involves organising and compiling data from all aspects of the Museum operations, including the Café, Shop, and outreach programmes.
This information, which is audited annually with a three year certification period, is used to calculate the overall carbon footprint of the Museum. The Museum’s emissions for the 2015/16 financial year were determined to be 390.52 t C02e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) – equal to around 50 average households’ emissions for a year.
Certification means that the Museum has now accurately measured and reported its greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with international standards and has demonstrated commitment to managing and reducing these emissions through various operational activities.
Part of the Museum’s management plan involves changing light fixtures to LED to reduce electricity consumption, replacing its LPG boiler with a more efficient and modern option, the use of electric cars, and several other initiatives undertaken to raise staff awareness, including decreasing the impact of air travel, and waste to landfills.
Tom Csima, Otago Museum Facilities Manager, is proud of the Museum’s commitment to environmentally responsible operations.
“From ancient cultures to extinct species, our main job is to care for and preserve items from our past, but you can’t do this without having an appreciation for the world we live in now,” says Csima.
“As a publicly funded organisation it’s our responsibility to take meaningful actions to operate sustainably and responsibly, while driving industry through investments in green technology. Achieving CEMARS certification is only the first step, but it allows us to accurately measure our emissions and, more importantly, set specific goals to reduce them.”
Enviro-Mark Solutions CEO, Dr Ann Smith, praises the Museum’s commitment to being part of a low carbon economy.
“For there to be a real change in the way business is done we need organisations to stand up and demonstrate their commitment to a more sustainable future. Otago Museum is now actively involved in monitoring and reporting its carbon impacts and we look forward to seeing the difference they can make for themselves as well as within the community. I would personally like to pass on my congratulations and look forward to Otago Museum’s carbon reductions.”