Britomart People / Jasmine Wong

As a Sustainability Manager at Westpac, Jasmine gets to work on a wide range of environmental projects both inside and outside the banking business.

Does anyone ever try to get you to play Princess Jasmine? Yeah. Actually. When I was a kid though I did used to dress up as her a bit.

You’ve got the hair as well. It’s not like you tried to avoid it. Haha. I’m totally embracing it.

Are you from Auckland? I wasn’t born here, but I moved here when I was seven. I did a double degree at Auckland Uni in commerce and law, and for my law part I did an exchange in the south of France. I’ve also done volunteering as an English teacher in Morocco and Cambodia.

How do you get to Britomart? I take the train. I love it so much. So much more than sitting in traffic.

What do you do here? I’m part of the sustainability team that works at Westpac NZ. I look after our environmental footprint so looking at our building’s efficiency, our fleet, and how can we reduce our carbon footprint. We set the strategy and we run the governance, and we help set up the projects. I also look after our volunteering programmes, so every year everyone gets one day to volunteer for a cause that they’re passionate about.

How did you get into it? At university I developed an understanding and passion for environmental sustainability and social issues, and that went into the papers I chose to take. Then I joined a graduate programme and Westpac really stood out as one that was serious about sustainability. I spent a few years moving around the whole business to get an understanding of how a corporate works and fortunately a gap came up in the sustainability team, and I love it. People think a big corporate and sustainability together doesn’t make sense, but a big company has the ability to have a big effect on things with the choices they make.

What’s your favourite comfort food around here? The Grown Up Donuts food truck that rocks up most Fridays is the best. And Miann has delicious sweet foods.

What’s your favourite hidden Auckland City spot? The cheap eats on Dominion Road. Eden Noodles would be one.

What’s your idea of fun? I love going out and exploring. Right now I’m training for the Oxfam Trailwalker and every weekend our team is doing walks around Auckland, and because of that we’ve discovered so many parks that you wouldn’t expect Auckland city to have. Some of them look like they could be in the Wild West.

Where’s that? Waikōwhai walkway. It starts at the Onehunga foreshore.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you… in Britomart? Actually being able to work in Britomart has been amazing. It’s so good to have access to transport, good food and shopping. You’ve got everything you need here.

Have you got your eye on anything to buy at the moment? I really want a Tesla. Or an electric vehicle of some sort. And the prices are coming down. So maybe one day!

Are there any Britomartonians you see around that you’d like to make friends with? There’s a guy who always goes to Miann with his dog and the dog sits up on the chair and they have coffee together. It’s the cutest thing ever. It used to happen almost daily. I wish my dog was that well-behaved.

Photo and interview by Florence Noble