Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Gotta be green to sell at the Rise

Parnell's new, hip shopping and dining precinct will open its tenancies only to those offering free-range, Fair Trade, sustainable and organic products.

It's the cost of doing business at the "Rise" in Parnell, the project housed in New Zealand's first 6-Green-Star-rated eco building, Geyser. The eco-conscious food and shopping hub is complete with a worm farm and a machine that will park your car for you.

Leasing agent Leah La Hood said that only "socially responsible food and beverage sellers" would be allowed. "The Rise and the Geyser building are both a statement and a commitment to the well-being of the planet."

Biodegradable packaging and recycling are also a must at the Rise, as is participating in an in-house composting project that in turn is used to fertilise the native plants that decorate the building.

And although commuting by foot is the PC thing to do, for those driving a novel car-parking experience awaits. Cars are stacked in columns of four underground by a machine to minimise space, then retrieved automatically when it's time to go home.

The food and shopping hub is projected to open late this year, joining office workers who have been filling the upper floors of the Geyser building since it opened in 2012.

Geyser was designed by renowned Kiwi architect Andrew Patterson and is the first building in the country to be awarded six stars by the New Zealand Green Building Council.

The building uses a third-less energy than the average office and half the water and lighting.

La Hood said the name the Rise was a reference to the precinct's location and the ethos of its vendors.

"[They are] rising up and standing tall as part of a community of conscious businesses that strive for social and environmental responsibility.

"We believe it is the only retail complex in the country that was conceived and built to meet [ethically aware consumers'] expectations."

The Rise has partnered with Conscious Consumers, a Wellington Charity that aims to create a sustainable marketplace.

- Herald on Sunday

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