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It’s the very def­i­ni­tion of a sus­tain­able busi­ness: a Kiwi roof­ing com­pany has boasted con­tin­u­ous growth through two re­ces­sions and now exports world­wide.

Element - - Architects -

Es­tab­lished in Auck­land in 1957, Ger­ard Roofs is a house­hold name in New Zealand. While most of what we buy is man­u­fac­tured off­shore, this com­pany’s prod­ucts are still man­u­fac­tured from the orig­i­nal Glen Innes site and ex­ported to more than 120 coun­tries around the world. One of the ways Ger­ard Roofs has kept up the mo­men­tum of growth and fur­ther ce­mented a long-last­ing legacy for the com­pany has been to meet the grow­ing de­mand for more sus­tain­able con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als.

Build­ing on the foun­da­tion of us­ing re­cy­clable steel, Ger­ard Roofs has in­tro­duced ini­tia­tives to re­duce its car­bon foot­print and en­cour­age the com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion of its staff by pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to par­tic­i­pate in vol­un­teer­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. It’s a holis­tic ap­proach to sus­tain­abil­ity which is pay­ing off in a de­mand for their prod­ucts here and over­seas. In Oc­to­ber 2010, a ded­i­cated en­vi­ron­men­tal co-or­di­na­tor and tech­nol­o­gist, Ni­cola Mor­ri­son, was brought on board. Her ef­fect has been such that she is a fi­nal­ist in the Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Net­work awards to be held early next month.

Mor­ri­son has in­tro­duced in-house ini­tia­tives like tree plant­ing days, switch­ing to Fair Trade kitchen con­sum­ables, and ed­u­ca­tion around travel – in­clud­ing pro­vid­ing hy­brid test-drives on site.

“Sow­ing the seeds of sus­tain­abil­ity is not just a pub­lic re­la­tions move. Tak­ing a proac­tive and holis­tic ap­proach to sus­tain­abil­ity helps to re­duce emis­sions and, in most cases, re­duce op­er­at­ing costs,” says Mor­ri­son.

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