Announcing 14 Community Decarbonisation projects

We realise that prioritising decarbonisation is hard for community groups, but we also know that sustainability is a focus for more organisations every day. That’s why we launched the Community Decarbonisation Fund in 2021, to support organisations transition to a low carbon future.

This fund’s designed to take the net proceeds from Certified, which enables Meridian’s business customers to report their market-based Scope 2 emissions as zero*, – and reinvest them into decarbonisation projects.

With 56 applications from community groups all over Aotearoa, our panel had a tough job. We’re delighted to announce 14 community decarbonisation projects for 2023, totalling 964k! This is more than six times the funding that was available in 2022, thanks to our Certified customers.

* Using the market-based reporting methodology as per the GHG Protocol’s Scope 2 Guidance.

Workers installing solar panels

We’re delighted to announce 14 community decarbonisation projects for 2023, totalling 964k!

Congratulations to:

  1. Satisfy Food Rescue – For an EV to collect and redistribute food that’d otherwise go to waste.
  2. Tread Lightly – For an electric van to replace their existing caravan, which shows people how to lower their carbon emissions.
  3. Kairos Food Rescue – For solar on their facility to collect and redistribute food to the community.
  4. Everybody Eats – For an EV to collect and redistribute food that’d otherwise go to waste, through pay-what-you-can restaurants.
  5. Electrifying Conservation – To provide an electric ute for their field crew
  6. Blue Light Youth Driver – For an EV to help youth learn to drive and obtain a full license.
  7. Te Ahi Kaa Training and Social Services Centre – To upgrade their 9-seater van to a 9-seater electric minibus.
  8. Te Kāhu Tiu kōhanga – For solar on their facility supporting and reintegrating young male offenders back into the community.
  9. Ngā Manu Nature Reserve – For solar on their visitor centre, education centre and nocturnal kiwi house.
  10. Rānui Apartments – Providing solar on a home-away-from-home facility for families travelling to Christchurch for life-saving medical treatment.
  11. Kiwi House – For solar on their kiwi house.
  12. Featherston Community Centre – To switch a diesel boiler for an electric one.
  13. Northern Southland Community Pool – To swap diesel boilers for a heat pump.
  14. EquiGEN – For solar on their Christian Centre, with excess power donated to deserving homes.

It’s fantastic to see the fund expanding to a position where we can make decarbonisation more accessible for community groups across the country.

Have you got a community decarbonisation project that needs some funding? Register your interest for this year’s fund.

Here’s one of our 2022 successful applicants, EcoMatters:

EcoMatters' Green Transition | Powered by Meridian's Community Decarbonisation Fund

Opening slide says Meridian Community Decarbonisation Fund on a white background with EcoMatters and Meridian logos centred at the bottom of the screen.

Upbeat guitar music begins playing.

Carla Gee, Chief Executive of EcoMatters is sitting on a couch in front of a bookshelf. She begins talking.

Carla Gee says: EcoMatters Environment Trust is a community charity that was started 21 years ago.

Background music and Carla’s voice over continues to play and there is a panning shot of their community garden. In this shot there is a glass house and seedlings.

Carla Gee voice over says: We run a whole range of initiatives that just help our community to live more sustainably and move towards low carbon living.

The video pans to their welcome sign which sits out the front of their bike hub. The sign says, “Welcome, free advice, learn basic maintenance, used parts, used bikes”. There are second hand bikes in shot. Then, a clip of their store is included. This clip features the ecostore’s products and their ‘swap a bottle’ initiative.

Carla Gee says: So, the bike hubs is one of our key initiatives here at EcoMatters and it's a really important initiative because we know that across Tāmaki Makaurau, 42% of our carbon emissions are actually caused by transportation. So the bike hubs allow people to come into different spaces across the city and learn how to ride and fix bikes.

We see a man, his name is Mark who works at EcoMatters unloading bikes from his workshop. We also see a set of spanners and range of different tools that Mark uses to fix and repair the bikes. Next, Mark is fixing a bike handle. He unscrews the gear change component attached to the handlebars and pours some oil in.

The video changes to an interview with Brent Bielby. He is standing under a yellow umbrella out the front of the EcoMatters store.

Brent Bielby says: So today we've heard over 48,000 visitors through our bike hubs. We've helped fix and restore over 17,000 bikes,

Mark helps a customer, a young female tests a bike. He is adjusting the bike for her height, and we see her get on the bike and ride away as Brents voice over continues with background music.

Brent Bielby says: we've helped redistribute over 3000 bikes back into the community again, and we've been able to do that with the help and support of over 9000 hours of volunteer hours to contribute to our work.

The video pans back to Brents interview.

Brent Bielby says: So the funding we received from the Meridian Community Decarbonisation Fund enabled us to be able to purchase a new electric van,

We see Brent driving their electric van as he pulls up to the bike hub and begins unloading bikes before closing the vans sliding door. Brents voice over continues with background music. Brent Bielby says: which gave us the opportunity to be able to travel around and move stock in a way that was low carbon, better fitted with our values and it also meant that the funding we were saving by driving an electric van, we could invest back into our main operation which is supporting people to ride bikes.

Video returns to Carla Gee, sitting in front of the bookshelf.

Carla Gee says: A key part of our bike hubs model is that we have a lot of community members that donate bikes that they no longer use or that their children have outgrown to our hubs.

We see an old rusty tin with KOHA written on it for people to donate to if they wish, children’s bikes and then Marks dog who is sitting under the umbrella. Carla’s voice over continues with background music. Carla Gee says: A key part of actually keeping the hubs running, is making sure we're moving those bikes between the different hubs located across Auckland. And we needed a vehicle, a big vehicle, to be able to do that.

The electric van pulls up to the store and the video pans to the dog once again.

Carla Gee Says: One of the things that was really important was getting rid of our old diesel vehicle and look at actually having an electric van to be able to move our bikes around.

We see Carla sitting in front of the bookshelf again for her interview. Carla Gee says: And a massive thanks to the Meridian Community Decarbonisation Fund for being able to support us and the funding to purchase an EV van so we can move the bikes around the different hubs.

Interview with Victor Fraga, Product Development Manager at Meridian Energy. He is in the EcoMatters community hub surrounded by art, books, and repurposed materials.

Victor Fraga says: We're very proud to support EcoMatters through our Community Decarbonisation Fund. They’re a community group that is looking to provide a low carbon transport option to Tāmaki Makaurau and that's very aligned to Meridian’s purpose.

More footage of Mark fixing a bike. This bike is an older one with a basket on the front. He is tightening a screw. Then, Mark is shown explaining a repair to a customer. This customer is learning how to carry out basic maintenance on his bike. The customer the cleans his bike once it is newly repaired and the camera pans to the spanner stand. Victor’s voice over continues with background music.

Victor Fraga says: It was clear in their application that sustainability and low carbon living is at the core of everything they do, and that is in very close alignment to the Community Decarbonisation Fund.

The video returns to Victor’s interview.

Victor Fraga says: Thanks to our Certified customers, we were able to allocate all the funds to our Community Decarbonisation fund, which supports initiatives like this.

A white end frame appears with the same background music playing. The text displayed says “Applications for the Community Decarbonisation Fund are now open. The link provided where you can learn more about the fund is

The video finishes.