Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua


Auckland Harbour. Image - Pike Brown

Auckland Harbour. Image - Pike Brown

Enviro-Mark Solutions

Enviro-Mark Solutions has continued to grow. Our subsidiary provides a globally-recognised suite of measurement and reduction programmes and certifications – CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme) and the carboNZero and Enviro-Mark programmes. The latter is being further developed to meet the needs of sectors with environmental compliance challenges. In May 2014, the new Energy-Mark programme was launched. This is based on the international standard for energy management systems, and is designed to meet the needs of large energy users. Further new programmes are planned (e.g. for product stewardship, water and environmental footprinting). The focus of all initiatives is to provide clients with high quality, defensible environmental credentials.

The CEMARS programme is delivered into the UK market through licence partner Achilles Information Limited. Customers include the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Environment Agency and the Scottish Parliament, EuroStar, High Speed Rail, Scottish & Southern Energy and at least 20 of the top construction companies. This year, the programme received further recognition with the UK Government endorsing it as suitable for ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme) – the new energy compliance obligations for large corporates.

The Chief Executive of Enviro-Mark Solutions is the New Zealand delegate to the International Organisation for Standardisation Working Groups on carbon and greenhouse gas standards.

We are now seeking external investment to grow the global business. During the year, Enviro-Mark Solutions issued an Investor Memorandum; the formal investor process is now underway.

Website: Enviro-Mark Solutions

Varigate – Precision irrigation for variable soils

Soils generally vary across large paddocks, especially where there are different landforms or other attributes that affect water holding capacity. Standard irrigators deliver a uniform amount of water irrespective of whether the soil needs it or not; much water can be wasted and nutrients leached away. Our research has led to the development of more cost effective soil moisture sensors, and a refi nement of variable rate irrigators programmed to a controller linked to a network of these sensors. The controller prescribes how much water should be applied to each part of the paddock to match the actual needs of the soil – this is called precision irrigation. On-farm research trials have proven the benefits of improved scheduling and reduced drainage losses.

The technology has been developed as a user-friendly decision support tool, available as an app. Soil moisture information is delivered back to the end-user, almost in real-time, so that irrigation schedules can be adjusted as necessary. End-users were consulted during the design to ensure that it met their needs. Landcare Research’s intellectual property surrounding precision irrigation has been licensed to New Zealand-based Varigate, a company specifically-created to commercialise knowledge from several years of this research. Many parts of the world are severely short of water so application of this technology has huge global potential. Varigate has recently secured significant investment capital to propel its commercial strategy forward.

Video: The Varigate story – a 2 minute video animation