Net Zero Workshop Events: What did we learn?

09 July 2019

Buildings have a vital role to play in Aotearoa’s 2050 net zero carbon goal . Over the month of June, we hosted nationwide net zero carbon events in preparation for this important shift.

The net zero events were straight forward: bring a group of people together to understand what barriers New Zealand faces when moving to net zero carbon . The events also attempted to present a collaborative opportunity for attendees to tackle those challenges collectively.

There were sessions held in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin, and each revealed the different direction of the net zero movement. Some events tended to be more technical, whereas other events had a more industrial feel, and they all provided insight into what to consider when developing the net zero framework.

The events tried to answer two primary questions.

Firstly, how can our framework support people that are compelled to contribute to a zero-carbon future, and, through this support, ensure they are able to use their energy effectively?

And, secondly, what must be considered in our framework to enable it to best support a broad transition towards a zero-carbon built environment ?

Overall, we went very well with the information we received from these events. There were significant takeaways from each of the events that can help for the momentum towards a net zero future.

They included:

1. People are inspired by what zero carbon represents: An equal society, space and place that nourishes our well-being, with more integration between the built and natural environments.

2. There’s a strong sense that this tool should be as simple and streamlined as possible to encourage uptake and support people stepping on the path to decarbonisation.

3. People can become overwhelmed at the sheer amount that we need to do in the transition, causing confusion as to which actions an individual or organisation is best to take.

4. There’s a need for a collaborative forum that enables continuous dialogue within and across industries to support clarity in the key barriers, identification of ways to remove them, and enables alignment in action.

To have a net zero carbon future, we must work as one cohesive unit. These net zero workshops are a step in the right direction for how we can collaboratively work together to meet the carbon neutral goal.