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Budget 2007: Investing in sustainable business

Hon David Benson-Pope
Minister for the Environment

Investing in sustainable business

Helping New Zealand businesses make the most of the opportunities offered by sustainability is one of the focal points of the funding announced today for the Labour-led government’s package of sustainability initiatives, said Environment Minister David Benson-Pope.

"It’s becoming increasingly obvious that many of our biggest international markets are putting a bigger and bigger premium on environmentally-friendly and ethically produced goods and services, as are Kiwi consumers," Mr Benson-Pope said.

"The sustainability package announced by the Prime Minister in February will help businesses rise to that challenge and keep our competitive advantage."

The package includes $3 million additional funding over three years for business partnerships for sustainability. Some of the $7.4 million over four years for sustainable government procurement and improved eco-verification will also support sustainable New Zealand businesses.

The business partnerships initiative will help government and business to jointly tackle some of the emerging opportunities and risks around market development and market access for New Zealand businesses, especially in key sectors such as tourism and the food and beverage sector. There will also be increased support for business development programmes that help businesses to make their operations more sustainable.

“The funding for eco-verification will help to make eco-labels and standards work better for New Zealand businesses, help businesses to identify reliable eco-standards to work towards, encourage investment in cleaner technologies, and grow the market for environmental goods and services,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

"The initiative also has flow-on benefits for international and domestic consumers, who can have more confidence about purchasing eco-labelled products."

ENDS

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