06 August 2019

At The Plaza, sustainability is about way more than reducing plastic bag usage.

Rotating plastic bottle

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved on the sustainability front, and excited about our ongoing endeavours. So much so, that this month we’re celebrating… and you get a wee treat as part of that, after all what’s a celebration without a gift (see below for more information.)

We have success stories to share with you as we stop to take note of what our centre has already achieved as a whole. In addition, we’re thrilled to note plenty of individual sustainability-related efforts being taken by our stores.

What’s happening?

You’ll notice displays throughout our centre this month pointing out key areas we are working on. Stop and have a read and discover what we’re doing to: save energy, compost our coffee beans, achieve LED solar savings, harvest rain water, and reduce plastic waste through our water filling stations – fill up rather than buy another bottle (our water filling station is at the foodcourt entrance). You may notice our “green people” made from plastic bottles collected within The Plaza.

Sustainable success so far

So how impactful are our sustainability efforts? Check this out for starters:

  • The amount of cardboard recycled at The Plaza each year is enough to make 1,200 houses
  • At The Plaza we recycle more than 120 bins a year of glass, which is the equivalent of over 12,000 wine bottles
  • Since 2012 The Plaza has reduced its waste to landfill by almost five percent or 11,500 kg – that’s equivalent to nearly two African bush elephants
  • On average The Plaza recycles 330kg of coffee grinds each month – that’s equivalent to just over five trailer loads per year
  • The Plaza harvests enough rain water to fill 732 domestic swimming pools per year. This water is then used to flush the toilet facilities throughout the centre.
  • By using LED lighting throughout the centre, The Plaza saves enough energy to power 20 homes per year.
  • We’ve saved the use of more than 42,000 plastic water bottles by installing free water filling stations

That’s but a taste of it all.

Shout out to our stores

Our stores’ individual sustainability stories often involve environmentally aware products as well as packaging. The examples are impressive.

Take Acquisitions for example, where product includes bamboo clothes pegs and all sorts of reusable bags including long-life Zero Bags made from recycled plastic bottles. Pop into Just Jeans and check out the Lyocell shirts (made from wood cellulose or pulp with very little waste product). On a similar note, did you know Macpac has a Tui Fleece range? This light-weight fleece is made from 100 per cent recycled content. In addition, by 2025 Macpac aims to be sourcing 90 percent of its fabrics from trade partners with sustainability standard certification. Then there’s Lush where 90 per cent of packaging comes from recycled sources… and half of their product can be taken home without packaging. We’re embracing The Body Shop’s “enrich not exploit” mantra. Their targets include ensuring 100 percent of their natural ingredients are traceable and sustainably sourced.

Other stores have their own initiatives as the sustainability drive is widely embraced at The Plaza.

We were banking on our banks and calling on our communications companies too.  Did you know BNZ started on a sustainability journey years ago, becoming the first bank to become carbon neutral (back in 2010). This bank can lay claim to the Kauri Bond Initiative, which, to date, has involved the planting of more than 7,700 Kaura seedlings. Vodafone, meanwhile has a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and to purchase 100 percent of the electricity it uses from renewable sources, both by 2025. Once again, but two examples within those sectors.

And here’s something to think about over a drink. Tank accepts reusable cups too, just like coffee shops – and has its own reusable cup option available for purchase.

Speaking of drinks…let’s talk about our treat to you.

Have a coffee on us

We know reuse, reduce and recycle is done better together so… have a coffee on us. Bring in your reusable cup to the customer service desk (located next to Glassons by the foodcourt) to receive a free coffee (or medium hot drink) voucher, redeemable at participating retailers within The Plaza.

Shouting you a drink is part of our sustainability efforts as we want to treat our customers who help reduce the number of takeaway cups New Zealanders use in a year – an alarming figure of more than 180 million cups.

So, enjoy your drink and let’s toast on-going sustainable success stories.