Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Corporate sustainability

Goal: Landcare Research’s corporate performance is exemplary, transparent and consistent with its Vision and Core Purpose.


In our on-line reporting, we report our performance using the GRI framework and the set of indicators and methodologies developed with members of BusinessNZ’s Sustainable Business to enable benchmarking.

We continue our commitment to increasing the efficiency and sustainability of our procurement practices, and to minimising and mitigating the adverse effects of our activities on the environment. We report comprehensively on this via our sustainability web pages.

Procurement We collaborate with other CRIs and AsureQuality through the CRI Procurement Forum. Combined savings achieved through this forum exceed $3m across a broad range of supply contracts, including collective insurance. A new hazardous waste contract, negotiated during 2012, is currently being implemented. The Forum, supported by the Government Procurement Reform and Procurement Advisory Group, is leading negotiations on a syndicated contract for lab consumables. This will be a major initiative for 2013 and has potential to deliver significant savings. We use advantageous All-of-Government (AoG) procurement initiatives to secure contracts for desktop and laptop computers, multi-function print devices, office consumables and vehicles. Contracting through AoG initiatives in legal services, electricity supply and travel are also underway.

Our environmental performance

In keeping with the Sustainable Business Forum’s approach, we have committed to improving our environmental performance for a number of KPIs against a rolling average across the previous five years. However, where the previous year’s performance is better than the 5-year rolling average, we use that as the benchmark to improve on in the following year. This approach makes improving our performance more challenging, but we are pleased to report we succeeded for all but one area.

Greenhouse gas emissions

We reduced our total greenhouse gas emissions by almost 13% against the previous year. This is a particularly noteworthy achievement given the additional emission types incorporated (e.g. refrigerants, accommodation nights, compostable waste and embodied emissions in new buildings). The greatest contributing factor to reduced emissions was a 30% reduction in total international air travel kilometres this year. Increased investment in monitoring and managing electricity use, plus upgrades to mechanical plant, also helped contain energy use – pleasing given the extensions to some of our facilities.

Carbon neutrality

AsureQuality, approved veri.ers to the carboNZeroCertTM programme, reviewed our systems and records and confirmed that our carbon-neutrality claims meet carboNZero certification standards across all sites. We purchased 2500 carbon credits through the carboNZero programme to offset emissions for the year and achieve net annual emission-neutrality.

Accidental by-catch of native animals

In 11 field projects involving routine pest trapping, 2606 target pests were caught. Two weka were accidentally caught in soft-catch leg-hold traps raised off the ground using ‘Scott Boards’ but were released unscathed. No native birds or lizards were killed as accidental by-catch in these studies.

The number of target animals caught was the lowest since records began, largely due to the completion of three research projects, which involved catching large numbers of possums, in the previous year.

Summary data

For the year ended 30 June: 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Motor vehicle (km/FTE) 1690 1516 1138 1660 1689
Domestic air travel (km/FTE) 5289 4662 4715 5634 4723
International air travel (km/FTE) 8594 9393 9738 12,198 77561
Total energy (KWh/FTE) 8992 9238 9489 8824 65042
Imputed CO2 (tonnes) 2025 3038 2556 2656 23183
CO2 offsets 2390 2925 2825 2679 23183
Avoidable waste to landfill (kg/FTE) 4.15 3.12 1.25 2.12 2.524
Water used (megalitres) 8.4 10.5 10.3 11.2 9.95
Native animals killed through by-catch 6 2 0 21 0

1 Does not include carboNZero or Sirtrack;
2 Decrease largely due to disconnecting from the Plant & Food Research coal-fired boiler for heating one of our buildings
3 Does not include carboNZero or Sirtrack; additional 165 credits purchased for carboNZero and 61 for Sirtrack
4 Total waste to landfill was 1.9 tonnes for 2011/12
5 This is equivalent to 170m3/$m revenue for the company for the year


Our operations are subject to a broad range of legislation covering environmental, good employer (including EEO and Health & Safety), human rights, ethical and financial issues. There were no material instances of non-compliance in 2011/12.