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Guide to Sustainable Development Reporting

Media Release

NZBCSD Releases a Guide to Sustainable Development Reporting

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) today released a report outlining the business case and guidelines for Sustainable Development Reporting. This guide was produced in partnership with the Ministry for the Environment.

The NZBCSD is a coalition of 38 leading businesses united by a shared commitment to sustainable development. The NZBCSD mission is to provide business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development, and to promote eco-efficiency, innovation and responsible entrepreneurship. NZBCSD members believe that Sustainable Development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come.

Sustainable Development Reporting (SDR), sometimes known as triple bottom line reporting, is the process of collecting and publicly presenting information describing a company’s environmental, social, and financial performance. SDR provides a clearer picture, then traditional isolated financial reporting, of a company’s long-term viability.

“Business does not operate in a vacuum, and companies that embrace sustainable development are finding that they have a better understanding of how their business is affected by other areas of society,” says NZBCSD Chairman Stephen Tindall. “SDR provides a means for publicly presenting our values and achievements, and for initiating dialogue with stakeholders. The shared understanding that can result from the SDR process has many positive spin offs for business.”

“ As a result of The Warehouse’s 2001 SDR, and reported activities, it was selected as a FTSE4Good Developed Index constituent stock. This meant that a number of large ethical index funds were required to buy Warehouse shares, directly resulting in a 5% share price increase, “ says Stephen.

The SDR Guide responds to a need identified by NZBCSD members, and draws on work from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and other leading international insights. The guide also summarises the experiences of 9 NZBCSD member companies who have already produced their first SDR reports. These companies are: BP NZ, City Care Ltd, Hubbard Foods, Interface Agencies, Sanford, Telecom, Urgent Couriers, Watercare Services, and The Warehouse.

“After a decade of environmental reporting, Watercare’s transition to SDR has evolved and now drives an internally focused improvement programme across all aspects of the company.”

“Since embarking on our project of producing reports that more accurately reflect the
impact City Care has as a business, staff have become far more adept at addressing
financial performance issues in ways where social and environmental outcomes are
improved at the same time."

Four NZBCSD members – Landcare Research, Urgent Couriers, Watercare Services and the Warehouse have received awards for their SDR’s from the NZ institute of charted accountants (ICANZ).

The Business Guide to Sustainable Development Reporting is intended for businesses of all sizes, for use when developing their first SDR. The guide is available on hardcopy from the NZBCSD or on the website at


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