Summerset is the first retirement village operator in New Zealand to become CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) certified, following an independent greenhouse gas emissions audit in November 2018.
Summerset will begin reducing its carbon emissions nationwide from early next year.
“We are proud to have achieved CEMARS certification which means we are actively addressing our environmental impacts,” says Summerset chief executive Julian Cook.
“It’s clear that business practices need to change to help protect the environment. We have 24 villages with over 5,000 people living in them and we need to make it easy for our residents to leave a positive legacy for their descendants.”
In 2017 Summerset generated 5,939 tonnes of C02 equivalent. That figure corresponds to the average electricity emissions from 4,357 New Zealand homes in one year.
Mr Cook said Summerset is aiming to reduce the intensity of its carbon emissions across the business by 2022.
Summerset will focus on managing emissions in five key areas: energy, waste, travel, paper and use of fertilisers.
Mr Cook said he believed the new programme would be popular with Summerset residents.
“I’ve heard a consistent drumbeat of demand from residents for more environmentally aware practices in their villages.
“We’ll be meeting that demand by involving our residents in our sustainability programme.
“We’ve chosen to include residents’ energy and waste in our emissions targets and we’ll work with them to find ways to reduce emissions. It’s important to include residents because they make up the majority of the Summerset community.”