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Environmental Edge To Auckland's RWC 2011 Preparations

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Michael Barnett
Michael Barnett

With the Eden Park redevelopment leading the way, Auckland's Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) preparations are taking on a decidedly green edge.

Environmental sustainability is at the heart of the famous stadium's extreme makeover for RWC 2011 and is a focal point of Auckland's wider Tournament preparations.

Regional RWC 2011 spokesperson Michael Barnett says Eden Park and Auckland will be the hub of the Tournament and so it is only fitting that they should lead the way on environmental initiatives.

"Making RWC 2011 as environmentally friendly as possible fits with New Zealand's 100% pure image and with Auckland's brand values," Barnett says.

"Overseas visitors in particular will expect to see evidence of environmental responsibility during the Tournament and Auckland is committed to delivering in this area."

Auckland's RWC 2011 Regional Steering Group has adopted an Environmental Sustainability Framework for Auckland. The framework puts the spotlight on four areas: waste minimisation, sustainable procurement, sustainable transport and energy efficiency.

Barnett says the framework is not just about words and woolly objectives, there are tangible things happening on the ground as Auckland readies itself for the Tournament.

Among the early initiatives are trials of composting and recycling programmes at Mt Smart Stadium (a RWC 2011 training venue) and North Harbour Stadium (one of Auckland's two RWC 2011 match venues). The trials are aimed at reducing waste going to landfill from match venues during the Tournament.

North Harbour and Mt Smart's energy use has also been in the spotlight with audits completed at both venues and action plans for energy efficiency during the Tournament under development.

Barnett says transport is a key element if Auckland is going to be a successful RWC 2011 host city and the emphasis on public transport for fans travelling to and from matches will help minimise the Tournament's environmental footprint in Auckland.

"We are making sure public transport is the most hassle free way for fans to get to and from matches. That has the double benefit of being more environmentally friendly than using private cars," he says.

Meanwhile those businesses hoping for a RWC 2011 windfall will need to show their environmental credentials when they tender for RWC 2011 related business. All RWC 2011 related tenders in the region include a section on sustainability. All organisations looking to procure goods and services relating to RWC 2011 have been supplied with a simple sustainable procurement toolkit, which they are applying to all tender processes.

Barnett says Auckland is committed to seeing these and other initiatives through, to ensure that the region takes a lead in making RWC 2011 the greenest Rugby World Cup yet.

Eden Park Case Study

A number of Auckland's environmental sustainability goals are epitomised in the Eden Park redevelopment, which will see the stadium looking decidedly greener when RWC 2011 kicks off there on September 9 2011.

Eden Park's environmentally responsible approach swung into action with the arrival of the cranes and wrecking balls last year. More than 70 per cent of demolition materials from the old stands have been recycled and reused.

The 2010 Rowing World Championships at Lake Karapiro will see the reuse of 10,000 former Eden Park seats. Other sporting codes have also received a windfall from the redevelopment, which saw 600 seats go to Counties Manukau hockey, 2489 seats and old lights to Franklin District Council and 248 seats to West Auckland Soccer.

But it's the green touches to the new Eden Park that have the potential to reduce the stadium's environmental footprint for many years to come while providing fans with state-of-the-art facilities.

Potable water use will be reduced by 50 per cent, thanks to a system that will harvest rainwater from the stadium's expansive rooftops. The translucent veil enclosing the south stand will reduce energy use, allowing daylight into the various levels of the building and reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Add to that improved access to nearby public transport services, a public transport hub at the stadium itself, more environmentally friendly lighting and the use of acoustic barriers to minimise noise spill, and the direction of the redevelopment is clear.

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