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Entries increasein Sustainable Business Challenge

Wednesday 12th April, 2006

Entries increasing in Sustainable Business Challenge

Entries in the 2006 Environment Bay of Plenty Sustainable Business Challenge have increased significantly with the introduction of an on-line entry tool.

The business awards event, also referred to as the challenge, benchmarks and assesses business performance in economic, environmental and social terms. An online entry process for previous entrants has increased entries above 50 for the first time in the four year history of the event. More businesses are expected to take part in the event before entries close on April 30.

"It's great to achieve strong ongoing growth in the number of businesses entering and to get such an enthusiastic response from the business community at a time when many economic business indicators are negative" says Calum Revfem, manager of the Bay of Plenty Sustainable Business Network (SBN). "Talk of a looming recession has meant that many businesses are thinking seriously about sustainability and are keen to do something about it - the challenge provides an ideal opportunity to make a start".

The Sustainable Business Challenge award system benchmarks and compares sustainable business performance based on the stage a business is at, rather than having categories based on the size of the business. A key feature of the challenge is the focus on ongoing improvements with each entrant receiving a sustainability report and a recommendation on areas to work on in the following 12 months.

The Sustainable Business Challenge awards system differs from other traditional business awards in a number of ways including having no entry fee and a free independent assessor to carry out an on-site interview and prepare a business' entry form for first time entrants. Previous entrants can re-enter by going on-line and updating their sustainable business profile. "We had to make it simple for businesses to stay in the programme and worthwhile in terms of their investment in time and effort".

Even the judging is sustainable according to SBN with an on-line process and the use of fuel efficient hybrid vehicles to undertake site visits. The judging panel comprises ten of New Zealand's leading sustainable business practitioners and experts including Phoenix Organics founder Chris Morrison and former Priority One chief executive Ross Stanway

The awards will be presented at a black tie gala dinner on June 1 at the Park Heritage in Rotorua.


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