SkyCity takes climate change action through Sky Tower switch off

SkyCity Entertainment Group has announced carbon neutrality, after three of the groups New Zealand-based precincts in Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown became certified carbon neutral by Enviro-Mark Solutions.

To mark the milestone and on ongoing commitment to climate change action, the firm has stated that its Sky Tower’s external lights will be turned off until mid-December, and be replaced with LED bulbs.

The tallest man-made structure in the country, standing at 328 metres (over 1076 feet), will reduce total energy consumption by ten per cent as a consequence of the switch.

Furthermore, the tower, which houses New Zealand’s second authorised casino property at its base, is to also be assessed by the building council to receive their Green Star Performance rating, reducing carbon emissions further still.

The complex also houses a conference centre, 700-seat theatre, 12 bars, 12 restaurants, and 2 hotels, alongside the gaming entity that includes 2,100 slots and video poker machines, 100 table games, and a 9 table poker room.

Graeme Stephens, CEO of SkyCity Entertainment Group, believes that carbon neutrality is a significant step but that the real challenge lies with reducing emissions: “While SkyCity isn’t one of New Zealand’s largest contributors to emissions, we strongly believe in taking action on climate change.

“SkyCity has the means to reduce our emissions, so we should, especially if it can help other businesses who aren’t yet in the position to offset or reduce their impact on the environment.

“On a weekly basis, thousands of local and international guests are welcomed to our SkyCity New Zealand precincts. Now, when our customers visit, they can be confident that they are in a carbon neutral environment.”

To be certified carbon neutral, SkyCity has paid $86,000 to offset the equivalent of 12,866 tonnes of carbon, measured in FY19.  

The carbon credits purchased through Enviro-Mark Solutions are generated by international projects, which will fund 48,000 solar household cookers for rural communities in China and help build wind farm capacity in India to replace fossil fuel alternatives.

SkyCity has also committed to a $25 internal levy per tonne of carbon, a quarter of which will go towards offsetting. 

The remaining three quarters will be invested into an internal Green Fund to finance emission reduction projects, chosen by employees and the associated committee, to be implemented around the business.

SkyCity’s Adelaide property will be certified carbon neutral in 2020, and the New Zealand International Convention Centre, which will also operate as a carbon neutral venue, following completion of construction next year.