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NZ can be a world leader in sustainable dev.

24 October 2002 Media statement

New Zealand can be a world leader in sustainable development

Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said today that new ideas can make New Zealand a world leader in sustainable business practices such as triple bottom line reporting.

“If we can apply our creativity to using our resources more carefully and implementing triple bottom line reporting New Zealanders could be way ahead of other countries.

“New Zealanders are talented and we have more ideas and creative energy per head of population than nations much larger than ours.

“A report on business management which will be released by the Ministry of Economic Development next month indicates that New Zealand businesses already see they have an important social responsibility to their community. Eighty-two per cent of businesses surveyed, engage in community sponsorship or donations and most saw a ‘social good’ element as part of the objectives of their sponsorship.

“However if we are to become world leaders for sustainable business practice businesses will need to see environmental management as an opportunity to lower their costs or improve their value – not as an annoying expense.

“Many business already recognise that pollution and waste represent additional costs, not value, for their customers particularly in areas such as disposal of packaging.

“Over a third of firms surveyed in the Ministry believe that environmental measures are not applicable to their businesses. The view that environmental management is too new, too expensive, too difficult or not relevant, ignores the current costs of environmental pollution.

“This is an exciting time for New Zealand. With the growth we are experiencing in our regions and in our industries this is an ideal time to change the way we do business so that we produce less waste and generate new ideas to make production more efficient,” said Jim Anderton.

ENDS

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