Summerset has been a Waste Management customer since 2019 and last year, WM added services to the construction side of their business that meets the requirements for NZGBC Greenstar certification. Summerset is so dedicated to incorporating sustainable practices that they have set their own construction waste avoidance targets of 75% recovery rates for Auckland and 35% for the 13 regional sites. Most are exceeding their targets at 50%. One Christchurch site is tracking at 74% since project implementation, thanks to the services provided by Waste Management, including education and training.
Decreasing general waste across so many sites and stakeholders requires active management and a collaborative culture that includes residents and staff. WM was able to offer advice with sustainable procurement. For example, procuring recyclable or compostable items or finding ways of minimising off-cuts, such as from food waste or timber. As part of Summerset’s overall sustainability strategy, site construction teams were keen to understand how each individual site was performing in terms of material recovery, and put in place initiatives to boost recycling and re-use numbers. With the assistance of Waste Management, accurate reporting per site helped create a culture of improvement.
To instil a sense of individual responsibility and collaborative goal-setting, each site has an internal waste champion responsible for helping develop a specific Site Waste Management Plan. Stakeholders and key personnel meet regularly to review figures and discuss innovations and observations with problem waste streams. Quarterly review with management and operations includes granular reporting and KPI tracking. Regular site visits cement relationships and provide opportunities to identify continuous improvements. For example, identifying that food could be eliminated from general waste helped them set a more ambitious sustainability target. Access to Waste Management's B2B portal delivers detailed, real-time data that gives transparency into the services provided, targets met and helps in strategizing next steps, particularly with influencing behaviours.
Site manager Terence Beach and WM Account Manager Stephanie Taylor inspecting cleanfill bins
Last year, Summerset succeeded in reducing general waste by 5%. WM helped them exceed the KPI on beds per unit, even though the organisation is growing and more beds were added. Despite the challenges from the Omicron outbreak in Q1 of 2022, general waste has been decreasing whilst recycling volumes remain static, indicating that all measures to reduce waste generation are taking effect. Waste Management’s work with Summerset has been recognised by the Sustainable Business Network, making the finals in the Outstanding Collaboration category of the 2022 Sustainable Business Awards. The winner will be announced in November.