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Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue is committed to minimising our environmental footprint by managing the impacts of our day-to-day work. We are part of the Carbon Neutral Government Programme’s (CNGP) efforts to combat climate change and achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

We are in the initial group of government organisations taking part in the CNGP. In December 2022, we reported our results to Manatū Mō Te Taiao, the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) for the first time.

Our efforts focus on delivering the requirements of the CNGP. We’re measuring carbon emissions and progressing an emissions reduction plan. 

Last year, we set our emissions base year as 2018–19. At the time, it was the most recent full year of Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue operating without the impacts of COVID-19. This year, our emissions have been re-stated for each year from 2018–19 to reflect revised emissions factors published by MfE in July 2023.

Our results for 2022–23 are provisional and unverified. The verification audit is nearing completion with no material adverse findings.

In 2022–23, we emitted 2,848 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), which is 27% higher than 2021–22, but 55% lower than the 2018–19 base year.

Air travel generated 41% of 2022-23 emissions, followed by freight associated with our mail (35%) and the electricity used in our permanent and temporary sites (11%).

Inland Revenue's Carbon Emissions by Year

Year
2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23
Tonnes CO2e 6,389 5,620 2,851 2,235 2,848

As expected, lifting COVID-19 travel restrictions has led to an increase in all related emissions (air travel, accommodation, use of our vehicle fleet, rental and private vehicles and taxis).

Our office technology enables our people to work remotely and virtually. However, domestic travel remains essential for some activities such as tax audits and our leaders connecting with remote teams.

International travel to specialist meetings and conferences with overseas authorities and other tax jurisdictions remains important - it made up 48% of air travel emissions in 2022–23.

Mail freight emissions fell 21% from 2021–22. International mail continues to make up just under 5% of our paper-based mail volumes but accounts for 59% of mail freight emissions.

The table below shows a breakdown of emissions by source across 5 years. Please note that 1 source (waste composting) is too small to feature.

Some of the energy benefits gained from exiting older, less efficient buildings have been offset by our need for temporary office space over the past 2 years. Reasons for this include concerns over the seismic robustness of some offices and seismic upgrades at 3 permanent sites.

While electricity use increased at our permanent sites this year, the associated emissions have reduced under the revised MfE emissions factors.

Inland Revenue's Carbon Emissions (t CO2e)
  2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23
Air Travel 2,847 1,961 416 255 1,171
Mail and courier 1,312 1,597 1,243 1,251 985
Electricity 937 887 822 446 321
Accommodation 524 564 42 26 65
Vehicle fleet 313 183 100 29 65
Business travel 202 158 34 26 53
Waste of landfill 118 134 125 39 22
Working from Home 0 1 2 120 125
Natural gas 104 88 26 - -
Water and wastewater 17 15 15 10 14
Waste recycling 9 13 15 12 16
Diesel generator 6 19 11 15 8
Waste composting - - - 7 4

Under the CNGP, we must reduce gross emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. The Agreement is to limit global average temperature increases to no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. This requires us to reduce gross emissions by 21% by 2025 and 42% by 2030 from the 2018–19 base year.

We’re aiming higher with a commitment to reductions of 43% by 2025 and 50% by 2030. These targets are not affected by the restatement of emissions for past years.

Based on our latest projections, which take property changes and reduction efforts into account, we estimate a small rise in emissions in 2023–24 followed by a drop in 2024–25. Current modelling indicates we will achieve a 58% reduction by 2025 and 64% by 2030.

The CNGP has defined a minimum mandatory set of emissions that agencies are to measure. At the end of 2024–25, we will need to offset all remaining mandatory emissions to achieve carbon neutrality. Over 99% of our emissions in 2022–23 are mandatory as defined by the CNGP.

Absolute GHG emissions (all categories) for Inland Revenue
  2018–19 2019–20 2020–21 2021–22 2022–23
Total 6,389 5,620 2,851 2,235 2,848
Change to base year - -12.03% -55.38% -65.01% -55.42%
Projected absolute GHG emissions (all categories) for Inland Revenue
  2024–25
2029–30
Change to base year 3,642 3,194
Target 43% 50%
Base case 2,669.80 2,321.87
Base case percentage -58.21% -63.66%

Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue is working on 8 key initiatives to achieve our emission reduction targets:

  • Transition to a fully electric vehicle (EV) fleet.
  • Reduce the fleet size and explore other optimisation options.
  • Enhance the energy efficiency of buildings—energy efficiency is being assessed at all sites over 2,000m2. As leases near expiry or renewal dates, we’re working with landlords to upgrade air-conditioning systems and lighting.
  • Minimise office waste—we’re reviewing and enhancing waste management practices.
  • Reduce postal freight emissions—we are analysing postal volumes and will explore:
  • options to reduce them further, and
  • alternative lower emission ways to deliver mail to overseas customers.
  • Reduce taxi and rental car emissions—we will consider options to switch to electric taxis and electric and low-emission rental cars.
  • Minimise the post COVID-19 growth in air travel—we continue to explore how to minimise travel.
  • Minimise employee commuting emissions—we will look at workplace barriers that prevent our people choosing to walk, run, scoot or bike to work. 

This year, chargers for EVs were installed in 11 sites and we are looking at 3 further locations. Installation at our other sites will be completed as changes to our property portfolio are confirmed.

With the arrival of 20 new EVs in August 2023, nearly 60% of our fleet is electric. To promote greater use of vehicles for travel between our sites, we’re installing visitor chargers where carparks are available.

LED lighting is being installed in our sites.

A pilot at one of our sites has been testing ways to minimise waste sent to landfill. We’re considering how to apply what we have learned at other locations.

Te Tari Taake Inland Revenue has also developed a dashboard to give more visibility to travel emissions. Our travel policy is being refreshed to prompt staff to consider the environment when making travel decisions.

This current reporting accounts for emissions from our core business activities. Inland Revenue is also looking at emissions from the cloud-based data centres we use and staff commuting. We expect these emissions to be material and that we will add them to reporting next year.

We are also working on ways to enhance data quality and automate gathering of the activity information used to calculate emissions. As part of this, we’re developing dashboards to better monitor and report on emissions from quarter to quarter.

Last updated: 18 Dec 2023
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