Organisational sustainability

A key element of the Ministry’s Strategic Framework is Kaitiakitanga: Generations of New Zealanders benefit from sustainable solutions to global and regional challenges.
An image of a building with solar panels on the roof.
Solar array at the High Commission in Honiara

With the establishment of the Ministry’s Decarbonisation Programme in August 2021, we have embarked on the pathway to becoming a more sustainable organisation.

The Ministry has a number of sustainability and decarbonisation initiatives underway, including:

  • replacing our existing vehicle fleet with low/no-emission vehicles as they come up for replacement and in countries where conditions allow;
  • launching a custom-built Digital Diplomacy Suite to deliver high-quality video conferencing to enable diplomatic impact in virtual engagements and reduce air travel emissions;
  • initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of properties (for example, the installation of LED lighting and integrating efficiency measures into building projects); and
  • making emission-related criteria a part of business cases for major asset projects.

One of the Ministry’s key activities has been undertaking emissions accounting to measure and report emissions from our operations – both onshore and offshore.

Our emissions

An overview of the Ministry’s emissions can be seen in the table below.

Table 1: MFAT onshore and offshore emissions:
2018–19 to 2022-23 (tCO2e)




2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2022/23
Air Travel 21,092 14,410 4,578 9,885 11,681
Electricity 7,254 8,037 7,777 8,161 7,325
Freight 2,306 2,158 2,113 2,897 2,581
Short-term accommodation 957 690 392 671 792
Natural gas 601 640 392 678 533
Vehicle fuels 584 480 298 383 588
Fuel oil 281 213 230 365 78
Diesel for generators 206 169 201 183 122
LPG* - - - - 28
Refrigerants 106 106 106 106 106
Waste/water 101 112 121 120 156
Taxis, rail, rental cars 90 67 37 39 81
TOTAL tCO2e 33,869** 27,082 16,461 23,416** 24,071
Change from baseline   -20% -51% -31% -29%

*Data collection started in 2022/23.

** Totals updated in November 2023 to reflect improved data.

As we are a foreign service that represents Aotearoa New Zealand around the world, the Ministry’s profile is dominated by travel-related emissions, followed by emissions generated through electricity consumption at its more than 360 domestic and international properties. Domestic emissions comprise 3–5 percent of the Ministry’s inventory; international emissions comprise the remaining 95–97 percent.

Our reduction target

The Ministry has set the following emission reduction targets, which are in line with a global emissions pathway that limits warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius; a 21 percent reduction by 2024–25 from the 2018–19 baseline, and a 42 percent reduction by 2029–30 from the 2018–19 baseline.

Our emissions reduction plan

MFAT’s Emissions Reduction Plan [PDF, 1.1 MB] contains a range of activities to ensure we meet our emissions targets, and recognises the importance of advancing an organisational culture of kaitiakitanga and sustainability within the Ministry. The Ministry will seek to reduce emissions from all sources, although we recognise that the largest gains will be made through focusing on our two primary sources.

The Plan will be updated annually to reflect new information and insights that arise from implementation of measures as part of this Plan, as well as evolution and developments in MFAT’s mahi.


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