As Aotearoa’s largest generator of renewable electricity, sustainability has always been part of Meridian’s DNA. One of the many ways we bring this to life is through our Climate Action Plan. First developed in 2022, this is designed to focus our efforts on those areas where we can make the most meaningful emissions reductions and help drive systemic change.
Over the past 12 months we’ve made real and significant progress against our three Climate Action priorities.
We’re committed to having seven new grid scale renewable generation projects construction ready over the seven years to 2030. Construction is now well underway at the Harapaki wind farm in Hawke’s Bay and Ruakākā grid scale battery site in Northland. In addition, we have also lodged a consent application for the Mt Munro wind farm in the Wairarapa and are close to lodging consent applications for two solar farms.
We have made significant progress in our work to help business and residential customers on their decarbonisation journeys. We’re proud to have 472GWh of committed process heat electrification projects currently underway, and Meridian’s Zero EV charging network is now the second largest network in Aotearoa, with 237 charging points.
Managing our Emissions and Ensuring Resilience
We estimate that we have avoided between 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2eq) of construction emissions at Harapaki and diverted 79% of waste from the site from landfill
Another big highlight is our afforestation programme, Forever Forests, which continues to make great progress. We currently have around 1,214 hectares of land in the programme and around 300,000 trees. We remain on track to have 700,000 trees in the ground by next financial year.
Over the past year we have also helped two salmon farms who operate in our hydro canals near Twizel switch from diesel generators to network electricity supply. This creates a saving in our Scope 3 emissions because they operate on a sublease from Meridian. We anticipate that these electrification projects will avoid 224 tCO2eq emissions every year, contributing to our science-aligned emissions reduction target Half by 30, which includes our Scope 3 operational emissions.
We have also made a lot of progress in how we manage climate risk. This has included developing new climate scenarios and improving our climate risk assessment approach.
While we’re proud of the progress we have made this year, we recognise that climate change is not going to solved by one company, one person or one community. As the climate changes we will all need to change – and be ready to learn and adapt as we go.