Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


100% Walking The Talk - Ecoman Malcolm Rands

100% Walking The Talk - Ecoman Malcolm Rands


By Ecoman Malcolm Rands

This week, the final installation of Peter Jackson’s films The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in theatres worldwide. It’s no secret that these films have a huge marketing potential for New Zealand tourism, and our ‘100% Pure’ brand has been hard at work overseas, with millions of dollars spent to put ‘destination: New Zealand’ in the eye of global audiences. Central to this image are our unique landscapes: pristine environments that promise the breath-taking raw beauty of untouched New Zealand.

But sadly, when it comes to discussing climate change and the environment, for many of us, the dollar still has the final word. It’s not that we don’t care – 99% of New Zealanders you talk to say they care about our environment, it’s just that when it comes to the perceived cost of changing our habits, people tend to shut off. ‘Nah, too expensive.’ Besides, it can be hard to feel any sense of urgency when our day-to-day lives remain much the same and, thanks to incredibly favourable geography, winds and ocean currents, the country continues to look so good.

We’re building a global perception that not only influences tourism, but our exports too. Close to a third of our GDP comes from exports, and when we sell into overseas markets, we are selling more than just a product; we are selling a dream. When you ask people on the streets of New York what they think of New Zealand, they say things like: ‘One of the cleanest, greenest countries around.’ They use words like ‘nature’, ‘forests’, ‘trees’, ‘ecology’. It’s what we are known for, and continue to reinforce. So long as we can keep that image, we can bank on it.

However, despite having so much at stake economically, we’re doing precious little to safeguard it. Deep sea oil drilling, frack mining, river contamination from farm runoff – these often outdated technologies and ways of thinking go ahead because of the promise of short-term dollar gain, even though they will have a negative impact long term. And it’s not just the environment that will be impacted, but also the incredibly unique opportunity we have to market ourselves to the world as brand New Zealand.

I’m not talking about about obstructing people or progress, but about instilling a culture of longer-term thinking. Already we’re drawing criticism from overseas about our ‘misleading’ 100% pure campaign being so far away from our environmental policies, and this disparity will continue to grow if we do not act. Recent difficulties, such as scare around nitrate levels found in NZ milk powder going into China has shown how fragile this image can be, and how it’s ultimately critical to the health of our economy.

Brand New Zealand is the real issue. If we continue compromising the environment and the New Zealand brand for the bottom line, for short-term cost competitiveness, it will be to the detriment not just of the planet but of our national brand and our global competitiveness too.

I firmly believe commercially-viable sustainable initiatives are integral to the future of all New Zealand business. In partnership with Vector, we recently installed 48 solar panels on the roof of the ecostore retail shop in Freeman’s Bay, which generate enough power to meet the energy needs of the building. The result is a net-zero energy commercial building – New Zealand’s first, and I’m excited about the possibilities for other businesses. We made sure we were the first to trial a system that any other small business could then follow. Now we’ve proven it works and that it’s commercially viable, so the road is open for others to take up the charge.

It’s the cumulative effect of many small changes that can make a great difference. We don’t want our landscapes to become a fiction. Our dollar and our future depends on keeping them beautiful.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news