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Fitzsimons encourages sustainable business growth

28 January 2005

Fitzsimons encourages sustainable business growth

Green Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will be encouraging the growth of sustainable business practices in a speech in Christchurch tonight.

Speaking to leaders in the sustainable business community at the Future Living Expo, Ms Fitzsimons will emphasise the market advantage that can be gained by business people who are first to meet the need for sustainable business products.

"There is currently a great opportunity for businesses who embrace sustainable practices, because it is clear that the first companies out of the blocks will gain a significant market advantage over those who are slower to adapt to our changing business environment," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"Those companies that come up with sustainable products now - such as the hybrid car or compostable plates made out of potato chip waste - will be best placed to reap the profits of the changing economy. Those who do not risk being left behind."

Ms Fitzsimons will emphasise that there are myriad pressures on business to develop more sustainable methods and products.

"The environment is forcing us to change, as human activity stretches the limits of the planet. Economics is forcing us to change, as the cost of oil and water rises significantly over the next decade. And so consumer demand is forcing us to change, as the public cries out for businesses which believe in energy efficiency, low toxicity, animal welfare, and the recycling and re-use of resources.

"The Green Party encourages the growth of sustainable business, and looks forward to a future when such business is more central to this country's economic activity."

Ms Fitzsimons will acknowledge the sustainability initiatives the Government has taken, prodded by the Greens, and outline Green policies aimed at bringing the concept of sustainability to the forefront of the New Zealand economy.

"Thanks to our influence, Labour has made sustainability a purpose of the Building Act, Land Transport Management Act, and energy legislation. The Greens are the party leading the charge in Parliament for more pervasive sustainable business practices.

"We will pursue eco-tax reform, which would move the tax burden from work and enterprise to waste, pollution, and the use of scare resources. We will urge the Government, in its awarding of contracts, to favour businesses with sustainable practices and products. And we will push for the setting up of standards which would require businesses to pay heed to the environmental consequences of their actions, so that making money and protecting the environment and the earth's resources can be mutually reinforcing goals."

ENDS


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