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New Zealand’s top Sustainable Businesses Announced

New Zealand’s top Sustainable Businesses Announced

The winners of the Westpac National Sustainable Business Awards have been revealed at a gala dinner in Auckland.

The winners are part of a growing trend for businesses to consider their impact on society, and to improve their bottom line by doing so. All five winners have focused on reducing their environmental impacts, improving staff and community relationships; and have managed to reduce costs and improved outcomes by doing so.

Ann Sherry, CEO of Westpac New Zealand said “The businesses attending tonight’s awards are some of the leading lights among the many thousands around the country that are making real contributions to their communities and I congratulate them all.

“Westpac has this year sponsored the Sustainable Business Awards as an illustration of the importance we place on this critical business function. By supporting such inspirational companies in achieving business excellence and sustainability, we hope to encourage many others, all over New Zealand, to adopt this leadership approach too.”

This leadership and excellence has been shown in volumes by companies such as Comvita, the winner of the Trailblazer Award, sponsored by IAG. Comvita is a leading New Zealand manufacturer and exporter of innovative health products made from honeybee raw materials and other plant based extracts. Sustainability is vital for its products, brand and production methods. It has delivered cost reductions, enhanced reputation and an excellent relationship with stakeholders.

Rachel Brown, CEO of the Sustainable Business Network, said “the finalists and winners of these awards show that sustainability is not a fringe element in business - in fact it’s mainstream. These businesses are to be commended for being an example to others and most importantly for achieving financial and business results, as well as making a contribution to society and the environment.”

The winners are:

Trailblazer Award, sponsored by IAG

Winner: Comvita.

Photo: Comvita with the Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, and Ann Sherry Westpac CEO.

Comvita has established cohesive sustainable systems in every part of its business. From waste management through to a strong involvement with its community, Comvita apply a systematic and cost effective approach to addressing sustainability issues. Comvita’s manufacturing plant is licensed to the internationally-recognised Good Manufacturing Practice standard for complementary health products.

Judges' Commendations: YHA Wellington and YHA Wanaka

Westpac People’s Choice Award:

Winner: Comvita.

Innovation Award

Winner: Fonterra Tirau

Fonterra has developed an anoxic treatment process to significantly reduce the nitrate levels of treated wastewater at its Tirau plant. The process works by turning off aerators that supply oxygen to the wastewater ponds, resulting in cleaner water being discharged to the environment.

Emerging Award


Web designer has made sustainability integral to their business. They have put measures in place for monitoring and improving energy efficiency and achieved reductions in waste to landfill. They have audited suppliers and changed several based on environmental and ethical considerations.

Exploring Award

Winner: Hamilton YWCA

Since beginning with energy efficiency measures, the YWCA has made significant progress in reducing its environmental footprint. It has reduced gas use by 25%, is continually improving power efficiencies, and achieves almost zero waste in its meals on wheels service.

The Sustainable Business Network

The Sustainable Business Network promotes sustainable practice in New Zealand and supports businesses on the path to becoming sustainable. We link businesses and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences equipping our members for success.


Westpac is New Zealand’s largest single bank with over 1.3 million customers and nearly 6,000 employees. Westpac is committed to sustainability and so is involved in a number of initiatives in this space including Zero Waste, Sustainable supply chain management, and a new programme designed to engage staff, customers and all New Zealanders alike in improving their financial literacy.

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