As we continue our efforts to embed sustainable practices in every aspect of our business, the need to meld big-picture vision with an almost granular attention to detail becomes more obvious. Sweeping statements about sustainability are easy to make, but turning those objectives into reality is much more challenging.

Every year we are reminded that, when it comes to sustainable practice, robust day-to-day measurement and management are essential. That’s one of the reasons why we participate in externally certified programmes such as the NZ Green Building Council’s Green Star ratings, the NABERSNZ energy efficiency audits, and Toitū’s Carbonreduce certification: the rigour of external assessments means our internal processes are necessarily shaped by them. 

This discipline yields positive outcomes. In this report we’re pleased to note a reduction in Britomart Group’s overall carbon emissions, one that exceeds our Carbonreduce targets. Some of these gains are due to what might seem like relatively insignificant procedural improvements in the way we manage our air-conditioning systems, for example. But improvements like these require a detailed, coordinated effort with contractors, technical experts and our own teams to achieve. As we see in our reporting, small gains like this can quickly add up. 

This is not to say that the work of sustainability needs to be entirely technocratic. If you take a big-picture view, sustainability is the ultimate collective endeavour (that’s why we’ve invited members of the Britomart community to talk about their sustainability successes and challenges in this report). People are more inclined to support sustainable initiatives if they feel a strong connection to place and the people they share it with. Our place, of course, is the central city, and we’ve been acutely conscious of the way flexible work patterns are reshaping people’s relationships with this part of town. Increased workplace flexibility is a welcome development, but our research has also shown how in-person work – and the constellation of social interactions that comes with it – is a fundamental connective element in our society. Auckland’s accessible central city, with its theatres, art galleries and sparkling waterfront, is the perfect place for these human connections to happen and for sustainable initiatives to be hatched. This type of connectivity can’t easily be audited or assessed by a third-party agency, but it reminds us that sustainability is everyone’s responsibility – and that our biggest challenges must be addressed together.

NEXT / Read about the goals we've set ourselves for the 2024 year.