We support a wide range of sponsorships, partnerships, and community activities that align to our Sustainability Framework. Through these investments we aim to enhance New Zealand's natural environment through conservation; promote New Zealand through our support of world class New Zealanders, events, and iconic destinations; and support New Zealand communities through inspiring young New Zealanders and sharing world class knowledge.
Our strategic priorities in this space were identified through consultation with our employees and our customers as part of a major survey we carried out in 2015 to harness new ideas and draw on our strengths as a company. From this in 2016 came the creation of two new initiatives to enhance our contribution to New Zealand communities: Airports™ for Schools, and the Inspiring Voices speaker series.
Airpoints for Schools
As part of our focus on inspiring young New Zealanders, in December 2015 we announced a new initiative, Airpoints™ for Schools. We developed this programme to allow Airpoints members to donate their Airpoints Dollars™ to participating schools, assisting them with their travel ambitions and helping them gain new experiences and knowledge. The first year of the programme saw over 70,000 Airpoints Dollars™ donated by Airpoints™ members, including Air New Zealand employees, to the selected schools.
With our significant global network and ability to connect to world-renowned experts, we are well positioned to drive an insightful conversation on social development, business growth and environmental topics with New Zealand's business community. Air New Zealand Inspiring Voices speaker series invites our customers, business peers, regional agencies, SMEs, and young industry leaders to engage in thought provoking conversations that challenge what business success means in a global context. The first year of the series focused conversations around a theme of "What is world class anyway?"
We continue to play a role in providing disaster relief, particularly in the South Pacific. These disaster relief programmes operate in conjunction with New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), Red Cross and Air New Zealand Cargo. Initial disaster response typically involves MFAT and Red Cross coordinating needs on the ground in terms of shelter, drinking water, food, medical supplies and equipment. Our Cargo team then moves initial aid cargo at no cost. Once the immediate disaster response needs have subsided, a "relief rate" is provided for other organisations and individuals that would like to send assistance to the affected country.
Noise monitoring is undertaken at airports across New Zealand and internationally, and noise control forms part of Air New Zealand’s Environmental Management System. We are committed to zero noise breaches at airports we fly to and our modern fleet and noise abatement techniques are critical to ensuring this.