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“Biodiversity Advantage” to be led by Fonterra and DOC

Pure Advantage’s “Biodiversity Advantage” to be led by Fonterra and DOC

Auckland, 26 May 2014 - Pure Advantage, the not-for-profit organisation promoting green growth, today announced that Fonterra and the Department of Conservation (DOC) will be the corporate leaders for its ‘Biodiversity Advantage’.

Pure Advantage has identified New Zealand’s ‘Biodiversity Advantage’ as one of seven areas it can build on to achieve sustainable economic growth. Fonterra and DOC will work together to develop a strategy to engage the business sector in helping to protect New Zealand’s biodiversity, which includes not only the country’s cherished native wildlife, but all native species which support a healthy New Zealand environment and a productive primary sector.

Sir Stephen Tindall, a Pure Advantage Trustee says the organisation is very pleased to have Fonterra and the Department of Conservation team-up to co-lead this significant Pure Advantage workstream. New Zealand’s unique biodiversity is an international environmental advantage that also underpins the country’s clean green credentials.

Protecting New Zealand’s natural heritage and environment is essential because of the reliance on the land. Agriculture exports earn $26 billion a year, more than half of New Zealand’s total income from export goods. New Zealand’s unique wildlife and native forest - its ‘Biodiversity Advantage’ - is a key drawcard for the country’s $20 billion tourism industry which employs 110,000 New Zealanders. New Zealand’s ‘Biodiversity Advantage’ lies in the fact that most of native birds and 80% of native trees are found nowhere else in the world.

Working with Fonterra and the Department of Conservation, Pure Advantage will develop a business model built on the principles of shared values that will deliver more resources to conservation and improve the bottom line for a business.

Fonterra Global Head of Sustainability and Social Responsibility, Carly Robinson, says: “Fonterra is keenly aware that protecting New Zealand’s biodiversity and maintaining healthy functioning ecosystems, underpins much of this country’s economic production and way of life, and plays a critical role in our country’s export brand.”

In developing the ‘Biodiversity Advantage’ with Pure Advantage, Fonterra and DOC are building on work they’re doing as part of a $20 million, 10-year conservation partnership.

“Through our partnership with DOC we are working with agencies and Iwi on biodiversity restoration and protection in sensitive wetlands and water catchments. This work produces positive outcomes for our farmers, the environment and our Co-operative. We are keen to work with other businesses to increase investment in biodiversity protection, creating long-term environmental and economic benefits.”

DOC’s Commercial Partnerships Manager, Tim Fraser says DOC has been partnering with large corporations on conservation work for more than 20 years.

“We have a wealth of experience in this area. That experience has shown that investing in conservation is good for the environment and good for business,” says Tim Fraser.

“We want the business sector to recognise that protecting our natural heritage benefits our environment and our economy. To have a strong economy you need a healthy environment,” says Tim Fraser.

About Pure Advantage:
The brainchild of Phillip Mills, Pure Advantage was formed by a group of successful New Zealanders who want a greener, wealthier future for New Zealand. Our Trustees are Sir George Fistonich, Rob Fyfe, Chris Liddell, Phillip Mills, Jeremy Moon, Rob Morrison, Geoff Ross, Sir Mark Solomon, Sir Stephen Tindall, and Joan Withers. The founding Trustees also included the late Lloyd Morrison and Sir Paul Callaghan.

Our aim is to articulate the green growth vision, provide a credible business case and deliver an ambitious green growth strategy for New Zealand. In doing so, we aim to enlist leaders from businesses, communities, iwi and Government.

We strongly believe that the private sector, in partnership with government, can drive a new green direction for New Zealand's economy.

Join us in improving the economy, environment and living standards of all New Zealanders, visit our website www.pureadvantage.org.

ENDS

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