Do­ing the busi­ness

Join the cel­e­bra­tion where good busi­ness prac­tice and sus­tain­abil­ity mean ex­actly the same thing.

Element - - Element - By Kate Hughes

Or­gan­is­ing any awards event is a big job. But what about the added chal­lenge of mak­ing it su­per sus­tain­able? Such is the task tack­led by the Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Net­work (SBN) ev­ery awards sea­son.

Luck­ily, the or­gan­i­sa­tion is adept at mak­ing a dol­lar go a long way: cre­at­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence that is far greater than the sum of its parts through long-term spon­sor part­ner­ships, sup­plier pro bono and call­ing in a favour or two. They fig­ure bud­get con­straints are the uni­verse’s way of telling us to waste less any­way.

So where to start? From the ini­tial in­vi­ta­tions on, us­ing email, the awards web­site, so­cial me­dia and a ‘name on the door’ sys­tem, elim­i­nates the need for printed tick­ets or pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial.

A cen­tral lo­ca­tion is vi­tal – mean­ing eas­ier ac­cess for pub­lic trans­port, car­pool­ing, walk­ing or cy­cling. This year the NZI Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Net­work awards will be held at Shed 10 on the re­vi­talised Queens Wharf – just a stone’s skip from Brit­o­mart – with plenty of bike racks.

When choos­ing a venue, spa­ces that ‘speak for them­selves’ are best – the less em­bel­lish­ment, and there­fore less waste, the bet­ter. The big shed has been re­cy­cled since the Cup in a way that re­veals its his­tory rather than con­ceal­ing it. In ad­di­tion to mak­ing the en­trance grand with In­ter­face ‘Green Car­pet’, young na­tive trees will be used to add colour and shape to the large space, and then planted by Car­bon4­good to off­set car­bon emis­sions from the night.

‘The spread’ is a key in­gre­di­ent in any good sus­tain­able event and of course from a host re­spon­si­bil­ity per­spec­tive. Divine Foods and Kokako are two cater­ing com­pa­nies that plan their fare to min­imise the need for con­tain­ers or uten­sils. Liq­uid re­fresh­ments for the awards will be sourced from Yealand Es­tates, Lothlo­rien and Mike’s Or­ganic Beers: all com­pa­nies com­mit­ted to sus­tain­able prac­tices.

For those at­tend­ing, sourc­ing a sus­tain­able out­fit is a se­ri­ous busi­ness. And if vi­sions of shirts that look like they were spun from pure muesli are sur­fac­ing now – wipe them from your mind. There are plenty of New Zealand de­sign­ers who are cre­at­ing sexy lit­tle numbers (right here in New Zealand) from en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive fab­rics.

Last year, well-known Kiwi brand Re­sene took out the top hon­our. Win­ners won’t be an­nounced un­til the awards event on Novem­ber 8, and let’s just say it could go any way. Award tick­ets are avail­able at

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