The State of Play: Carbon Emissions In New Zealand

Based on statistics from the Ministry of the Enviroment.

New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions were 76.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2-e*) in 2021. This is a 19 per cent increase from emissions in 1990 (the base year for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).”

20% of these carbon emissions currently come from the built environment according to the New Zealand Green Building Council. 

The Challenge

In the age of climate change and environmental consciousness, the construction industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Sustainable building solutions are no longer an option but now a necessity. Here at QPOD, we’re proud to be a part of this transformation along with some of our industry partners in creating the sustainable building solutions kiwi homes will be built on for generations to come. 

The Proposed Solution

To fully realise the benefits of a zero carbon New Zealand, it’s imperative that all buildings and homes embrace the commitment. The New Zealand Green Building Council is urging stakeholders in the construction industry to pledge their support and commitment to zero carbon in the following ways:

Building Owners

Begin certifying existing buildings as zero carbon in 2020 and have all buildings meet this standard by 2030.

Building Developers

Construct new buildings as zero carbon, with 20% less embodied carbon, by 2025.


Notify landlords about their intent to seek zero carbon-rated buildings in their leases by 2025.

The Government’s Role in Achieving Zero Carbon Buildings

To ensure the realisation of zero carbon buildings here in New Zealand, the government must play a significant role by taking the following initiatives:

Setting a 10 Year Trajectory

Establish a 10-year trajectory to ensure that new buildings adhere to zero energy standards under the Building Code by 2030. This can be achieved through key updates to the Building Code in 2026, and 2030, including restrictions on fossil fuel combustion in new buildings by 2026 and its complete elimination by 2030.

Energy Efficiency Labelling

Energy-Efficiency Labelling: Mandate energy-efficiency labeling on existing buildings (both residential and non-residential buildings larger than 1,000m²) when they are sold or leased by 2024.

Sustainable Building Verification

Ensure that government bodies like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, New Zealand Defence Force, and the Department of Corrections lead an all-of-government shift towards verifying their new buildings as sustainable and possessing lower embodied carbon.

The future

The path to zero carbon buildings is not only a commitment to a cleaner environment but also a pledge for healthier, happier communities. By coming together and taking these proactive steps, New Zealand is making significant strides toward a more sustainable future for all.

Here at QPOD we’re proud to be part of this revolution with our earth-friendly foundations, please watch the below video for more.