We are the first retirement village operator in NZ to be carboNZero and a member of the Climate Leaders Coalition. We’re also CEMARS certified (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme). We have offset all our unavoidable emissions and have an ongoing plan to reduce carbon emissions, with a goal to reduce our operational emissions intensity by 5% by 2022.
We’re dedicated to minimising our environmental impact, here are some examples of what we've been doing:
- We have recycling options available at our 25 existing villages to minimise waste going to landfill
- A ‘green waste programme’, which means all of our foliage goes into composting - and we're trialling organic composting
- All of our new villages will have LED lighting throughout and we are actively upgrading to LED lighting in existing villages
- Introducing automatic pool covers at our new villages to keep the heat in and our electricity use down
- Educating our staff on how they can contribute to saving energy, including running “Switch Off” campaigns to switch off lights, equipment and appliances when not in use
- Promoting the use of videoconferencing to reduce carbon emissions from travel
- Looking after our extensive gardens by choosing environment-friendly fertilisers
- A network of swipe-card operated printers means we’ve already substantially brought down the amount of paper we use.
But we’re not going to stop there. We have some great ideas which we hope to introduce this year.
Education. Community. Wellbeing
These things are all very important to us and we implement these elements into what we call our ‘people and community programmes’ – because we believe that being socially responsible also means having a positive influence on our staff and the communities we are part of.
We are active supporters of a range of community based organisations, including the Orokonui and Brook eco-sanctuaries.
We offer training and development for staff, and our yearly ‘Applause Awards’ recognise the efforts of our people. When it comes to wellbeing, we provide flu vaccines, free health insurance, and all our staff have access to EAP – a free counselling service. Summerset also run engagement surveys annually – so our people can tell us how we could be doing better.