Auckland Museum attains world first in CEMARS® certificationDate: 2 August 2011
Auckland War Memorial Museum has become the first museum in the world to be awarded the CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) certification.
Gaining CEMARS certification is a significant milestone in the Museum’s recent programme of work to improve its environmental practice which has featured a 6% cut in electricity usage in the past year, installation of numerous hi-tech sensors and meters and a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10% over the next five years.
CEMARS certification confirms measurement of the Museum’s greenhouse gas emissions in compliance with ISO14064-1, the international standard for quantifying and reporting an organisation’s carbon footprint. It also certifies that plans are in place to reduce emissions.
The Museum’s greenhouse gas total for the 2010 calendar year has been measured at 1805.66 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents.
“The Museum decided to seek certification to get an independent, audited benchmark of our current greenhouse gas footprint,” Auckland Museum’s Interim Director Sir Don McKinnon said today.
“We have set ourselves the unofficial goal of reducing our carbon footprint by 10% in the next 5 years. We believe Aucklanders and our many other visitors increasingly want to know that major institutions such as the Museum are improving their environmental sustainability. We know the Museum still has a way to go, but getting this certification is an excellent milestone.”
Sir Don said in addition to cutting electricity usage by 6% in the past year, gas consumption had been held steady, and water usage had been reduced slightly.
A number of hi-tech digital meters had helped achieve savings by providing real time data to assist monitoring and control. A re-development of bathroom facilities in the Grand Foyer used sensors for taps and toilets to dramatically reduce water consumption.
“Time controlled rain sensors and moisture sensitive controls have been introduced this year, meaning we are saving water outside as well. Whenever it rains the Museum’s irrigation system is geared to skip a day so the surrounding grounds aren’t watered unnecessarily.”
“Being a museum brings unique challenges, for example, reductions in energy use need to be balanced against the need to ensure constant temperatures and humidity control for the preservation of treasured objects and documents in our collection.”
As the first Auckland Council organisation to gain CEMARS certification, Auckland Museum plans to share its learnings with other RFA and relevant CCO organisations over the coming months. Other NZ companies with CEMARS certification include Westpac, Meridian Energy, Spicers Paper, Villa Maria, Wellington International Airport, Toyota NZ and Antarctica NZ.