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NZ businesses recognised for sustainability excellence

Media Release
29 November 2012

New Zealand businesses recognised for sustainability excellence

Winners of the country’s leading sustainable business awards, Sustainable 60, were announced at an event held in Auckland last night.

Five organisations were recognised for their category and overall excellence for incorporating sustainable practices into the operation and management of their businesses.

“With more companies taking part this year, we are really pleased to see sustainable business practices being embraced. Part of the circular nature of sustainability means early adopters seek out trade partners who also use sustainable practices. This creates a domino effect in the production and supply chain, which is good for the environment, the economy and the wider community,” says Caitlin Sykes, editor of Unlimited magazine.

Judged in the areas of Community, Environment, Marketplace, Strategy and Governance, and Workplace, businesses could enter one or more categories. To qualify for the Overall Small, Medium and Large awards they must meet entry criteria in other specified areas.

PowerSmart won the Community award and was also named Overall Small business winner by working to assist householders gain control of their energy generation and use. Its initiative in Tokelau, supporting the island nation to achieve 100 percent solar power, was particularly impressive to the judges.

Meridian Energy, awarded winner in Environment, “...ticks all the boxes with its high standard of environmental management and community,” said the judges. Meridian’s latest wind farm project, Te Uku, was provided as an example of excellence in this area.

Winner of both Marketplace and Medium Business awards, La Nuova Apparelmaster is a Taranaki-based laundry and dry cleaning operation. Its sustainability journey started with energy efficiency and is now integrated throughout the business. For example, towels are downgraded as they deteriorate from hotel A-grade, to three star quality for rest homes or three star motels, down to one star for rugby teams and freezing works; eventually becoming rags, which are washed and re-used for as long as possible.

Sheep, beef and forestry agribusiness Aohanga, in the Northern Wairarapa, takes out the award for Strategy and Governance. Combined with its 100 year plan, Aohanga’s governance practices ensure it balances the drivers and challenges that span legislative, economic, cultural, social and environmental responsibility.

Winner of the Large Business award, Westpac New Zealand has had a commitment to sustainable business practice for well over a decade. It has a strong commitment to its community, workforce and managing and lowering its environmental impact.

“We would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists for their ongoing commitment to sustainable business practice. Sustainability promotes corporate responsibility and benefits the wider community and environment,” says Sykes.

This year’s winners will be invited to speak at a series of workshops to promote sustainability to other businesses early next year across New Zealand. For more information and a full list of this year’s finalists visit


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