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Carbon Emissions: Offsetting and Reduction

What we do to offset our emissions:


Solar Power

Solar power has one of the lowest carbon footprints. On a life-cycle basis, concentrated solar emits 38, PV roof solar emits 41, and PV utility solar energy emits 48 grams of CO2equivalent per kWh of electricity produced. Solar helps combat climate change as well as having various environmental benefits

Solar energy is completely clean and releases no harmful, ‘dirty’ chemical compounds to the atmosphere.  In 2020 we made the investment in solar panels for our hangar.

Our solar panel system incorporates 19 Jinko Solar Panels and a 5kW Inverter in order to reduce energy costs as well as our carbon footprint.

As Wanaka enjoys an annual average of 2100 hours sunshine per annum Solar is a great option for us to produce clean low carbon electricity to help offset our carbon footprint.

With advanced software we are constantly able to monitor and analyse the systems’ performance. The system shows C02 savings that are easily identifiable.

Link to our current live system performance here.

Hydro Power Plant 

Hydropower is a low-carbon source of renewable energy and a reliable and cost-effective alternative to electricity generation by fossil fuels.

Hydropower generates more than 4,000 terawatt hours of electricity globally every year, enough to supply over 1 billion people with clean energy.

‍Independent research suggests that use of hydropower instead of fossil fuels for electricity generation has helped to avoid more than 100 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in the past 50 years alone. That’s roughly equivalent to the total annual carbon footprint of the United States for 20 years.

Aspiring Helicopters has utilized a permanent local water source and built a hydro power station to help substantially offset it’s carbon footprint.

Our hydro power station has an average annual output of approximately 950,000 kWh or 108 KW continuous.  This is enough to provide enough annual electricity for approximately 135 houses (based on Electricity Authority figure of average New Zealand home annual consumption). Or 600 electric cars (based on 10,000 km per annum at average consumption of 0.16kWh per km)

What we do to reduce our emissions:  

Flying provides a significant amount of carbon emissions so our offset programs are the best way to address this.  However we do where possible utilize our larger helicopter for scenic flights and fill seats to reduce our impact.  Our online bookings are limited to two flights per day to facilitate this.

Commercial bookings are scheduled appropriately to reduce the amount of empty-leg-ferrying required.

Where possible we turn our helicopters off rather than remaining idling for long periods of time.

We recycle our waste.  Mandatory regular testing of fuel provides a substantial amount of wastage.  Instead of wasting this fuel it is recycled into the hangar heating system.


What we do to help protect our environment

Our state of the art purpose built hangar is designed to have minimal effect on the environment.  

Our carparking and reception area are planted with native species of flora to both enhance the environment and provide a feeding ground for native birds.  Native flax in particular provides a popular food source for Bell Birds, Tui and Wax-eyes.

Commitment to help local organizations protect our local fauna

We subsidize flights for our local trapping organizations and volunteers who operate rodent trap lines in our local region and in the Mt Aspiring National Park.  

We provide regular flights for the volunteers of the Matukituki Charitable Trust as well as some individuals who volunteer to maintain random trap lines in the alpine environment.   

We are situated at the gateway to the Matukituki valleys, iconic valleys within the Aspiring National Park. The West Matukituki valley is a showcase destination, drawing over 80,000 visitors a year to explore numerous tracks and routes leading from the valley floor including the popular Rob Roy Glacier, one of the top day walks in the country!

The Matikutuki Charitable Trust has been established to ensure that the valleys natural attributes are protected and enhanced. The Trust volunteers work tirelessly to restore the habitat and increase the population of all native flora and fauna, but particularly those species that make the valley special, such as kea, whio, South Island robin, rock wren, South Island kaka, South Island rifleman, braided river birds, South Island long tailed bat and several species of lizards. 

We are proud to work with the volunteers of this committed group as well as the random other volunteers who look after trap lines in the local alpine environment.


Land Search and Rescue – Preferred helicopter operator in Wanaka region

We work closely with the Wanaka Search and Rescue volunteer organisation.

Wanaka Search and Rescue is one of the busiest back-country search and rescue groups in New Zealand, the team averages 45-55 operations in a busy year and we contribute the flying to a large percentage of them.

Given that most rescues happen between November and March, there is a huge commitment by the all-volunteer team.  These teams are coordinated by the incident management team that works with the Wanaka Police and the Wellington’s Rescue Coordination Centre to run the SAR operations.

We also run regular training sessions with the team to keep everyone up to speed so as to ensure quick and efficient rescue missions when recovering people from the backcountry.

When the Rescue Coordination Centre or Police call in a job we all ‘drop tools’ and make the mission our first priority.


Wanaka Trail Ride annual event

This is a local community fundraiser to raise funds for our Wānaka Primary School, Montessori Children’s House Wānaka and Tarras Primary School.

The Trail Ride offers a unique opportunity for friends and families to explore private high country farmland otherwise inaccessible to the general public.

An awesome opportunity for the local community that also helps to raise funds for local schools. 

It is a popular community event with in excess of 500 riders annually.  To date the event has donated $NZ158,000 to local schools.

We are an ongoing sponsor for our local Rugby Club – “Upper Clutha Rugby”

Rugby in New Zealand is more than just a game, it forms the sporting backbone of the nation. From grass roots to international super-teams, rugby is supported by passionate kiwi fans around the country. No-one would deny Rugby is the national obsession of New Zealanders and a huge determining influence on New Zealand life and culture.

Local Rugby Clubs provide both a sporting and social life, they offer physical and mental wellbeing.  It’s widely acknowledged that they provide a network of likeminded people that can offer support and help people with mental health. 

Clubs also offer children excellent social and learning opportunities; teamwork, boundaries, rules and responsibilities.  They are a community asset that we are proud to support and sponsor.

The Upper Clutha Rugby club was established in 1922 and is still going strong.

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