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.

Element - - CONTENTS - By Adam Gif­ford

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.

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