Cooper and Company has led the patient rejuvenation of the Britomart neighbourhood for more than 15 years. Here, chief executive Matthew Cockram talks about how sustainable development continues to be the cornerstone of Britomart's operations. 

Cooper and Company has long had a sustainability framework that we apply to our endeavours. We make decisions with the assumption of long-term ownership and stewardship, which allows us to focus on environmental, social and economic outcomes that build and support each other.

Our more recent efforts in Britomart have focused on building on that framework so that our sustainability efforts are measured and we can establish clear targets for ourselves to improve. 

Three years ago, we were the first property company in New Zealand to adopt the NZ Green Building Council’s Green Star Performance Tool. This year, we have worked with Toitū Envirocare to develop a base-case carbon emissions profile and a robust plan to reduce those emissions.

Our work with Toitū Envirocare is complementary to our efforts with the Green Star Performance Tool, broadening our focus from building efficiency to enable us to clearly assess the environmental impacts of every decision we make. 

These efforts require a huge amount of energy from our team members. We make this investment because it is a cornerstone of our business philosophy, which has always sought positive long-term outcomes rather than short-term economic benefits.

In addition to our work with Toitū Envirocare, the past year saw the opening of The Hotel Britomart, New Zealand’s first 5 Green Star hotel. It’s been gratifying to see the hotel’s Green Star status cited by guests as a key reason for them electing to stay there. 

Consumer sentiment will remain a driver of positive change, and is another reason why we cannot shy away from the seriousness of the threat of climate change. 

Our own survey of the Britomart community, which you can see at the back of this report, shows how widespread concern about climate change is. Every business needs to be developing a genuine response to these concerns, and we need to do this together. Becoming more sustainable is a collective effort: the robust measurement methods we have put in place give us clarity as to how we’re progressing, and allows us to share this progress with the members of the Britomart community, many of whom are sustainability leaders in their own right. Our shared focus on the environment is something that amplifies all our efforts.

I should add that we are not claiming to be perfect at this. But we have found through these efforts that we are learning and, step by step, improving. We know that our community requires this of us. We also require it of ourselves. 

Matthew Cockram, Chief Executive, Cooper and Company

NEXT / Read our 2021 report card and our targets for 2022