Adding value Winning ways of Kiwi firms
Fresh from their success at the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards, Element presents the winners and their stories.
There’s a line in the Jimmy Webb song Old Wing Mouth: “He came to do good and he did well.” That’s the hope of sustainable business – that it’s a better way to do things and contributes to the bottom line.
A study by Osmosis Investment Management, reported in the Harvard Business Review, showed that firms that use less energy and water and produce less waste tend to produce higher investment returns for investors.
It says looking at sustainability can help investors to identify management teams that are forward thinking.
Rather than being some “some nice-to-have” quality, resource efficiency is a leading indicator of economic performance.
The Sustainable Business Network – motto “reshaping profit” – runs the annual NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards (held last Thursday at The Cloud in downtown Auckland) as a way to not only reward those making progress but to give organisations a way to benchmark themselves.
Most contestants say they entered to get a credible outside view – and that just by entering they learn a lot more about what sustainability means in economic, environmental, and social terms.
The network’s Get Sustainable Challenge models best practice and allows organisations to measure themselves against 10 categories – commitment, vision, integration, staff, resources, business systems, products, services, relationships and influence, and communication.
As well as being the winner of the Medium Emerging Business category, market research firm Colmar Brunton runs an annual survey on people’s perceptions. Chief executive Jacqueline Ireland says the latest Better Business, Better World report shows sustainability is starting to have a significant impact on decision making, not just in firms but among their customers.
More than a third of New Zealanders say they are willing to pay more for the sustainable choice, and on almost all measures – recycling, being more energy efficient in the home, composting food, growing your own veges, buying local vs imported – percentages are going up year on year.
Villa Maria Estate won the Sustainable Business of the Year and the Trailblazer Large Business at the NZI National Sustainable Business Network
Awards last Thursday.