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Making Retirement Sustainable: Generus Living Leading the Way

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Generus Living Group strive to make a difference in providing upscale sustainable living environments. Over the last 10 years the luxury retirement village operator has built a strong reputation for developing and operating outstanding retirement villages in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch.

Generus and their Bay of Plenty partner Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Incorporated have led an extensive sustainability pilot in the Pacific Coast and Pacific Lakes Villages, achieving remarkable results and attracting nationwide interest since its commencement. Generus Living were recently recognised for this and announced as a finalist in the newly founded Retirement Village Association [RVA] Sustainability awards under APL Best Operator Led Sustainability Initiative category.

“We all have a role to play in building resilience in this changing world,” said Generus Living Group Director Graham Wilkinson. “Generus are fully committed to embedding sustainable practices throughout the organisation. This commitment is shared not only by our staff and management, but also by our residents and partners.”



This sentiment was also very evident in the Generus resident sustainability survey, where over 90% of surveyed residents stated that a sustainable lifestyle was important or very important to them.

“Engaging in conversation across all stakeholder groups has been a critical element in our approach. We have very passionate village teams, and it has been exciting to see what can be achieved within a relatively short time period.”

The Generus project at Pacific Coast and Pacific Lakes Villages focused on three key aspiration areas: waste, nature and conservation. One of the main goals was to assess and adopt the best approach for waste minimisation within a retirement village setting while introducing a targeted resident educational programme.

Remarkable results have been achieved with the diversion of over 90% of the waste, including all green waste and operational food waste, of the two villages being diverted from landfill. In addition, many further waste initiatives are underway, ranging from worm farms to soft-plastic and residential green waste separation. Both Generus Living Bay of Plenty villages are also part of Tauranga City Council Resource Wise programme - a programme designed to help organisations to reduce their waste to landfill.

Graham Wilkinson said much attention had also been focussed on nature.

“At both Pacific Coast and Pacific Lakes Villages, we have made significant changes in the way grounds and gardens are managed. These include sourcing and managing water as well as selecting plant species that are less affected by pests and drought conditions.”

“We have also reviewed chemical use with only natural fertilisers now being used, and there are on-site worm farms and further composting facilities to process green waste. Investment into innovative irrigation software has helped reduce plant replacement costs through avoidance of over or under-watering.”

The built environment also supports Generus’ aspiration of working with nature. Pacific Lakes Village is the first Generus Living village with a considered approach to sustainable design.

Central to the village is the creation of its own ecosystem via a series of waterways. The lakes have been developed as a sustainable stormwater retention system, fed from rainwater and natural aquifers that support regeneration of plant and birdlife.

The Lake House, the first community facility at Pacific Lakes, highlights the sustainable ethos of the village. It is supplemented by solar power and has its own rainwater recycling system. Aligned with sustainable building design, the building materials were carefully considered and where possible environmentally preferable solutions were selected.

Following the successful rollout of the pilot project in Bay of Plenty, each village within the Generus Living Group was then introduced as a separate chapter. This individual approach enabled the introduction of initiatives unique to each village.

All villages within the Generus Living Collection – Pacific Coast, Pacific Lakes, Ranfurly, The Russley and Holly Lea – are now part of the sustainability programme.

“We seek to conduct business with organisations which share our key sustainability principles and help support our commitments to operate in an ethical, socially and environmentally responsible manner,” said Wilkinson. Generus are also part of the newly-formed Retirement Village Association Sustainability Committee, which drives and supports sustainability initiatives across the retirement industry.

“Sustainability is definitely a journey, and we aspire to do better every day. We have a responsibility as a kaitiaki, to act as guardians for future generations.”


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