Britomart’s environmentally focused activities range from the creation of 5 Green Star buildings to public events in Takutai Square. It’s a broad scope of engagement with a two-pronged focus: raising environmental awareness, and working to ensure our buildings meet nationally accredited standards.
Greening the City
Britomart’s Greening the City event invites people from all over the city to come and pick up free native saplings to plant themselves – raising awareness of the importance of reforestation as a way of mitigating climate change. This year we gave away over 2000 native trees over a three-day period in late April that incorporated Arbour Day. The trees came from the nursery at The Landing, the Bay of Islands property which, like Britomart, is under the stewardship of Cooper and Company. Nursery manager Caleb Scott came to Britomart to offer free advice to aspiring tree-planters each day, as well as host planting workshops (including school holiday planting workshops for children). We commissioned artist Miriama Grace-Smith illustrate some of the natives species being given away and displayed her work on large panels in Takutai Square. We also encouraged donations in exchange for the trees and raised almost $4000 for the Native Forest Restoration Trust.
Auckland Climate Festival
Britomart renewed its sponsorship of the Auckland Climate Festival for its second year and developed a new series of events to raise awareness of the importance of climate action and the wide range of ways people can engage in it. We worked with landscape architects on climate-themed designs and with NZ Geographic magazine to display the finalists in their Photographer of the Year award on our large-scale frames throughout Britomart – and enjoyed seeing how many people stopped to take in these incredible images. We also hosted a free Zero Carbon Breakfast with All Good Oat Milk and Bananas, Blue Frog Cereal, Everybird Coffee and Raglan Coconut Yoghurt, raising awareness of the carbon impacts of what we eat and drink and providing a social connection point in Takutai Square. Our Reusable Tuesday activation celebrated Recycling Week (which occurred during the Climate Festival) by offering free coffee for everyone with a reusable cup at all Britomart cafes − more than 600 people took up the offer.
Nohonga Tuarua was a collaboration with the NZ Institute of Landscape Architects Tuia Pito Ora, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail and Resene. Teams of landscape architects were invited to enter designs for seats that responded to the theme of Climate Resilience, with four of the designs chosen to be funded for construction and placed in Britomart’s Takutai Square for October's Auckland Climate Festival before being moved to Brick Bay in November.
The benches (Nohonga is the Māori word for ‘a place to sit’) added a new layer of vibrancy and thematic richness to Takutai Square – as well as becoming popular places for people to sit beside the lawn on sunny lunchtimes.
The designers of the Nohonga also spoke at our first Britomart Neighbourhood Drinks event, giving them a platform to speak to the theme of climate resilience and the difference they felt landscape architects could make in adapting the built environment to mitigate climate change and cope with its effects.
World Park(ing) Day
World Park(ing) Day is an annual global event that draws attention to the amount of public roadway space that is occupied by cars, and proposes alternative, low-emissions, people-focused uses for these spaces. For the event in September (which was part of Auckland Architecture Week), Britomart hosted five installations by architecture and landscape design firms that transformed parking spaces into areas where passersby could sit, play games, take home native seedlings and more.
NEXT / Buildings - old and new - have significant impacts on the environment. Read how our latest heritage refurbishment is transforming a 117-year-old warehouse into a modern 5 Green Star office and retail building.