Starting 2022 off on the right foot: Auckland’s greenest supermarket opens its doors

Auckland has become home to one of Aotearoa’s most sustainable supermarkets with the brand-new, soon-to-be Green Star accredited, Countdown Waiata Shores now open for business. 

The new 4,200sqm store is a more than $30 million investment by Countdown in a rapidly growing area of South Auckland. Filled with environmentally-conscious and future-focussed features, it is also set to be Tamaki Makaurau’s first ever Green Star accredited supermarket. 

Countdown’s Director of Property, Matt Grainger, says he’s incredibly proud to show local customers what the Countdown stores of the future will look like. 

“We’re working to achieve Green Star accreditation for more and more of our stores because it ensures we’re developing stores that are not only great places for our team to work and our communities to shop, but are also great for the planet. 

“We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to do at the Waiata Shores store and it’s fantastic to really see sustainability in action with digital shelf labels to reduce our paper use, doors on all the fridges to reduce our energy use, solar panels on the roof to generate power, cycle paths that connect to the rest of the Waiata Shores development and more,” says Matt Grainger.

“Building such a sustainable supermarket and meeting the Green Star standards isn’t as simple or as inexpensive as a regular store, but it’s well worth it to know we’re leaving a much lighter footprint for future generations and creating a clear path for achieving our 2025 Sustainability Commitments,” says Matt Grainger.

Grainger says that working to meet the Green Star accreditation standard at Waiata Shores wasn’t just about the features customers can see in the store - the whole design and construction process was equally important. 

“There’s a lot that’s happened behind the scenes to make the development as sustainable as possible. We’ve made a deliberate effort to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill - in fact, we reduced construction waste to landfill by 70 per cent.” 

MP for Takanini, Dr. Neru Leavasa says “The new Countdown store is a great addition to our local area and for it to be Auckland’s first ever Green Star rated supermarket is just fantastic. 

I’m really delighted that Countdown has chosen to invest here and has done so in a way that truly reflects our community values and looks after our environment and people for generations to come” 

Some of the emissions, water, paper and energy saving features in the new store include:

  • Solar panels to generate 10-15% of the store’s total energy

  • Transcritical refrigeration systems that use natural refrigerant gases

  • LED lighting which is 35% more efficient than traditional lighting

  • Water-saving taps to reduce water use

  • An Energy Management System, which provides regular updates on store energy and water use

  • Doors on fridges and freezers to reduce energy use. Every 10 doors saves enough energy to power a NZ home for a year.

  • Digital shelf labels to reduce paper use

  • EV chargers for customer cars

  • More bike parks linked with local cycleways to help encourage biking and reduce short car trips to the supermarket.

Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council says that it’s wonderful to see Countdown continuing to invest in Green Star supermarkets and Aucklanders will be pleased to see a Green Star supermarket in their neck of the woods. 

“Great green buildings use less water, have less carbon pollution, and are often better ventilated and lit, which means they’re healthier, nicer places for Kiwis. We’re really looking forward to seeing Countdown keep building proven green buildings by rolling out Green Star around Aotearoa.”

The new Countdown Waiata Shores has created around 100 new jobs for locals and also includes a Drive-Up option for online order pick up, an in-store Countdown Pharmacy, an extensive range of fresh produce, and an in-store bakery, deli and Cellar. 

Waiata Shores is Countdown’s second ever Green Star store. Countdown opened New Zealand’s first Green Star supermarket in Richmond in June 2021.

Countdown is working to achieve a 4 Green Star design and as-built rating for all of its new property developments, and a 5 Green Star minimum standard by 2025. Meeting this goal will significantly contribute to Countdown’s goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 63 per cent by 2030 versus its 2015 baseline..

For more information on Countdown’s 2025 Sustainability Strategy, Kia pai ake te āpōpō, visit:


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