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Unique partnership to neutralise IWG 2022 travel emissions

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John Turkington Forestry has partnered with WISPA to create an enduring environmental legacy in Aotearoa New Zealand

The hundreds of international participants about to travel to Aotearoa New Zealand for the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport (IWG 2022) this month, will board their flights knowing their air travel emissions will be mitigated. This is thanks to a unique new partnership between Women in Sport Aotearoa, Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa (WISPA), forestry consultancy John Turkington Forestry (JTL), the Manawatū District Council and Feilding High School.

The project will see John Turkington’s Environmental Business Manager, Myles Guy calculate the air travel emissions of the conference’s international participants and deliver a native tree planting programme to neutralise the impact and provide an enduring legacy for the event in Aotearoa New Zealand.

To symbolise the beginning of the initiative, John and Angela Turkington and WISPA will gift a rare Māori Princess Pōhutukawa to WISPA’s iwi partner, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, during the official event Pōwhiri at Ōrākei Marae on Sunday November 13. The seedling will be planted on Bastion Point, to connect the initiative across the motu, and to represent new growth for the women in sport movement.

In parallel, John Turkington will supply seeds to students from Feilding High School to raise into seedlings. To raise funds for the school, the forestry company will then buy the seedlings back and plant them on land supplied and protected by the Manawatū District Council early next year.

“This is truly an amazing initiative. It is totally in line with our sustainability values and our promise to protect and care for the environment through our commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi,” said Rachel Froggatt, chief executive of WISPA, the advocacy group delivering IWG 2022 at Auckland’s Te Pokapū – the Aotea Centre to over 1,200 in-person and virtual participants from November 14-17.

“It also provides the foundation of an exceptional community fundraising project for students in the Manawatū district, bringing to life our passion for empowering young people to advance change.”

“A massive thanks to John and Angela Turkington, their sons Sam and Tom, and their extended community in the Manawatū for making this happen. It is the first in a series of projects we have planned together to advance WISPA’s work toward achieving gender equity and equality in sport.”

John Turkington said: “We are passionate about sport, about creating pathways for all, and about the environment.

“To be able to link these components together in association with WISPA, Manawatū District Council and Feilding High School in this way is not only unique but exciting and presents a mechanism going forward for sports, businesses and the community alike.”

The partnership will leave a lasting legacy for the conference, with the newly established native forest to be tended and maintained by the council as part of a reserve.

Manawatū District Council Mayor Helen Worboys said: “Manawatū District Council is delighted to be part of this initiative by providing the greenfield reserve land for the planting to take place. This is a great opportunity to involve our community, our youth and Council in promoting Women in Sport.”

How the Partnership Works

  • The initiative will begin with a symbolic planting of a Māori Princess Pōhutukawa at Orākei Marae in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
  • John Turkington Forestry (JTL) to calculate air travel emissions of IWG 2022 international participants and supply seeds for native trees to Feilding High School
  • Feilding High School Students to raise seedlings in school’s nursery
  • JTL Forestry to plant seedlings on Manawatū District Council (MDC) land
  • MDC to maintain forest as part of a recreational reserve

Key Information

  • Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA), Ngā Wāhine Hākinakina o Aotearoa, is a charity focused on transforming society through leadership, advocacy, and research, to ensure that all women and girls gain equity of opportunity to participate, compete and build careers in play, active recreation, and sport in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • WISPA is hosting the 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sport in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand between 14-17 November 2022. Over 1,200 participants are expected to take part in person, with up to 500+ more virtually
  • JTL is a forestry and land use consultancy, providing a full suite of forest management services, including climate emissions mitigations. JTL has a proud history of sponsoring New Zealand women in sport over the past more than 10 years.
  • WISPA and JTL are partnering to deliver a voluntary carbon contribution towards international air travel emissions for the conference

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