Environmental, social and governance reporting
Summerset is a leader in sustainability for the retirement and aged care sector in New Zealand, with sustainability well integrated into our business strategy.
We are the first net carbonzero™ retirement village operator in New Zealand and have a science-aligned emissions reduction target in place through to 2027.
We are socially responsible with a strong commitment to resident wellbeing, staff retention and development and have a governance structure in place to address climate-related risks and opportunities.
More details on our environmental social and governance (ESG) commitments are below with links to documents for more information.
Sustainability Review 2023
Summerset has had a greenhouse gas emissions reduction programme in place since 2018. We are net carbonzero™ certified and offset any unavoidable emissions with gold standard carbon credits for our operations in New Zealand and Australia.
We’re proud of the progress we’ve made: a 16% reduction demonstrates our commitment over the last five years to reduce our carbon footprint.
A new five-year target that runs until the end of 2027 has been set for scopes 1 & 2 and scope 3. Our new scope 1 & 2 target is to reduce emissions intensity per square metre by 34% by 2027 (against base year 2022). We also have a scope 3 supplier engagement target with both targets being science-aligned and in line with the 1.5 degree of warming limit.
Our five areas of focus for emissions management · HIGHLIGHTS
Our greenhouse gas emissions reporting is independently audited annually by Toitū, part of Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, in accordance with the ISO 14064-1:2018 and ISO 14064-3:2019 standards. See www.toitu.co.nz
Key initiatives to progressing towards our science-aligned target include introducing renewable energy and a transition away from utilising gas through the introduction of new alternative technology.
Climate change risks, including emissions reporting, are regularly reported to our Board as part of our risk management process.
Sustainability Linked Lending
We were New Zealand’s first retirement village operator to link sustainability to our funding agreements, incorporating a Sustainability Linked Lending arrangement as part of our bank refinancing. This sustainability-linked lending arrangement will support growth in the operations and development side of the business over the next five years, and underpins our commitment to achieving our sustainability objectives.
Our Sustainable Finance Framework (PDF | 1.5MB) sets out the anticipated process by which Summerset intends to issue and manage Sustainable Debt on an ongoing basis.
Summerset has a construction business responsible for building our retirement villages.
We currently build retirement units as well as 10,000m² village centres with communal resident facilities, serviced apartments, and a care centre.
We measure emissions resulting from waste under Scope 3 of the Toitū certified emissions reduction programme.
We are working toward ways of increasing validated construction waste diversion from landfill. We will do this through working closely with our waste and recycling contractor, greater recycling of materials, working with our supply chain, and changes in the materials we use.
In 2021 we introduced a construction waste avoidance programme that in its first full year produced exceptional results diverting 1,276 tonnes of waste from landfill saving ~238 tCO2e, with one of our regional sites, Summerset at Avonhead, achieving an outstanding 67% diversion rate against a 35% target. This programme was named as a finalist in the Sustainable Business Network Outstanding Collaboration Awards 2022.
We have introduced recycling facilities, composting of food waste, and increased electronic communications for residents and staff to reduce waste going to landfill from our retirement villages.
Summerset manages our environmental impact on New Zealand’s unique biodiversity.
We have strict environmental management practices at sites under development. These practices may include erosion and sediment control, chemical treatment management, groundwater settlement monitoring, noise and vibration controls, and ecological and weed management plans. We also conduct monitoring at applicable sites to ensure we are not impacting local native species such as birds or lizards.
In sub-tropical areas, where climate conditions are challenging or water may be restricted, our lawns are comprised of drought tolerant grasses. Natives plants are increasingly being used within our villages to enhance and improve the overall village biodiversity.
We have moved to using environmentally friendly fertilisers on village gardens and have a growing number of bee-friendly villages.
Social Product responsibility
Summerset is bound by the Privacy Act 2020 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.
Staff training on privacy is conducted as part of our employee induction programme and as part of staff training each year.
Cyber security & Privacy
Summerset takes cyber security very seriously and continues to undertake regular assessments and evolve systems, processes and practices to better protect resident, staff and company information.
We generally only collect personal information from the individual concerned unless it is not reasonable or practical to do so. If we collect information from a third party, we will generally obtain the individual’s consent. We do not rent, sell or provide personal data to third parties for purposes other than completing transactions or for the provision of services. Where we allow our suppliers to access personal information our internal Group Technology team has thoroughly reviewed and approved their security protocols to ensure these meet our information security requirements.
Over the past year there has been a concerted effort to improve prevention measures for cyber-attacks, such as strengthening access control through improved multi-factor authentication, and ensuring that access by individuals, suppliers or systems is rigorously checked and access is limited to just what is required. A key initiative to support this has been to provide privacy and privacy related-risk training to all employees including contractors.
Supply chain practices
Summerset uses a range of external suppliers and has a supplier code of conduct (PDF | 83KB) governing their interactions with us.
We are focusing on partnerships with like-minded companies and suppliers to progress toward a more sustainable future. We will work with suppliers to measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
We have a modern slavery policy and statement (PDF | 6.2MB) and are introducing compliance training for staff where this is relevant to their role.
Summerset retirement villages are part of communities all over New Zealand. We support those communities through the provision of local jobs, the purchase of goods and services, as well as our corporate sponsorship and community engagement programmes.
We hold over 190 partnerships with community groups, including sports, environmental, and health groups.
Our national partnerships include Netball New Zealand, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Dementia New Zealand, which supports people living with dementia, Bowls New Zealand and Indoor Bowls New Zealand. Summerset is accredited as a dementia friendly organisation.
Summerset aims to create a great place to work where our people can thrive.
We provide a comprehensive staff benefits programme, a staff share scheme, free and confidential counselling services, and learning and development opportunities. Our staff engagement survey score is at or above the top quartile of companies using the same survey provider globally.
We have a whistle-blower policy in place, actively monitor our staff turnover and attrition rates, and encourage diversity and inclusiveness through our diversity and inclusion strategy.
Our inhouse health and safety team are responsible for our health and safety policies, systems, and measurement.
Summerset provides our injury statistics to New Zealand’s nationwide Business Leaders’ Health and Safety forum. We measure our progress against the Forum’s targets monthly.
Our overall workplace injury rates are reported in our Annual Report.
Governance Board/executive structure
Governance of our sustainability is important to keep us on target. Our Board has oversight of climate related risks and opportunities through our current reporting framework. The forthcoming Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) requirements will add further disclosure in this area. Summerset is aiming for its full disclosure to be ready for the FY23 reporting cycle, published in 2024.
Our Board is made up of seven independent directors and our CEO and Chair are separate roles. Our Board directors come from a range of ethnic backgrounds including Chinese, Samoan and New Zealand European, we have three female directors, and a broad range of industry experience.
Find out more about the Summerset Board of Directors
Summerset has a whistle blower policy which has been communicated to staff through an internal communications campaign and is reinforced through training each year.
We also have a Code of Conduct and a Code of Ethics for staff. These policies are part of our policy review process to ensure they are up-to-date. The policies are highlighted in new staff onboarding processes and form part of our employment contracts.
Summerset shares all hold the same class of voting rights. Our Board is elected via a majority shareholder vote.
Summerset is committed to being socially responsible. We measure our greenhouse gas emissions and publicly report on them. We are members of the Climate Leaders Coalition and the New Zealand Green Building Council. Our sustainability policy is available here (PDF | 234KB)
We report our financial and non-financial results through our annual and half-year reports and announce material matters to the New Zealand stock exchange as part of our continuous disclosure obligations.
Summerset’s ESG ratings
Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) survey
2022 – B rating
2021 – B rating
2020 – first time survey is not scored
MSCI – global investment research company
2022 – AA Rating
2021 – AA Rating
2020 – AA Rating