Otago Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker has grounded
himself for the year.
The development of the polytechnic's ecological footprint
showed air travel to be a major contributor, along with coal
use and information technology equipment.
Mr Ker said at a polytechnic council meeting yesterday while
the polytechnic aimed to reduce its overall air travel over
the next three years, he had made it a personal goal to do it
in one year.
''I plan to do a lot more video-conferencing. I'll be more
happy sitting in my office than getting on a plane to go to
It did mean putting pressure on those he did business with to
ensure they had good video-conferencing facilities, he said.
The polytechnic's footprint in 2012 was estimated at 359ha
and the planned replacement of its coal boiler by a
woodchip-fired unit would reduce the footprint by 19% to
291ha, polytechnic researcher Dr Ella Lawton said.
''The impact of the woodchip boiler alone is staggering,'' Mr
When compared with the footprint of 12 other tertiary
institutions which completed a Tertiary Education Facilities
Management Association survey, Otago Polytechnic's was much
lower than average when compared with a full-time equivalent
staff or student rate.
Even though Otago Polytechnic wanted to reduce its air
travel, it was already well below the sector average, she
Council member Rebecca Williams said it was pleasing to be a
leader in the field and she hoped it would inspire other
polytechnics to do the same.