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Landcare Research a world leader in sustainability

Media Release

November 30, 2000

Landcare Research a world leader in sustainability reporting

Landcare Research is ranked among world leaders in an important international benchmarking survey of best practise in corporate triple bottom line (sustainability) reporting.

The Global Reporters was prepared by UK consultants SustainAbility for the United Nations Environment Programme. They assessed published reports of economic, social and environmental performance (the triple bottom line ) by companies including multinationals such as BP and Shell (ranked 5th equal) and British Telecom (3rd).

Landcare Research ranked 14th out of 202 entries with its first sustainability report. It ranked third equal for its economic bottom line reporting, which includes aspects of staff development, resource use efficiency, and the impacts of its business on the environment. It is one of four companies to score maximum points for the message expressed in the chairman and Chief Executive s statements, and ranked among the top seven companies for promoting knowledge of sustainability issues, both to government and to the public.

The survey stated that the vast majority of companies have made only limited progress in developing key performance indicators, to show how effectively they were improving their triple bottom line performance. But Landcare Research was highlighted for showing real leadership in this area. In its Eco-balance project, Landcare Research has started to quantify its resource use and waste production, and to find ways to reach a goal of zero environmental impact.

The survey also expressed concern at North American and European companies neglect of developing world issues, but Landcare Research won specific praise for its International Business Group s success in helping to alleviate poverty in the province of Guizhou, in China.

The leader of Landcare Research s reporting project, Dr Richard Gordon, says the ranking shows that you don't have to be one of the world's biggest companies to have a report that ranks alongside theirs.

"This is important news for New Zealand companies in increasingly competitive national and global markets, where stakeholders are looking more closely at companies values and integrity.

*Also, many companies find this type of reporting highlights opportunities to reduce costs and liabilities not otherwise identified*.

Richard Gordon says that as a founding member of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, Landcare Research and several other businesses including The Warehouse, BP Oil New Zealand and the Living Earth Company have made a commitment to sustainability reporting. Landcare Research will continue to work with the government and the private sector, and on its own reporting, closing the gap with world leaders.

Landcare Research s approach is commended by the Managing Director of The Warehouse, Stephen Tindall. *In the past, business has often presumed that shareholders are the only important stakeholder. However, today more businesses believe they have a responsibility to the community at large, and the environment.

*Triple bottom line reporting is a good way of tracking an organisation s performance; not only its financial and economic results but also its environmental and social performance*.

The Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, Peter Townsend, also applauds Landcare Research s efforts. *Integrity in everything we do as New Zealanders in a world context is a key to our future. We are a people and a nation of integrity, and we need to take advantage of this as a key point of difference in a busy international marketplace.

*Landcare Research s approach is one we need to follow in the context of enterprise accountability, and justification of our positioning*.

ENDS

For more information, contact: Dr Richard Gordon Landcare Research Lincoln (03) 325 6701 x 3812 025 224 8143 GordonR@landcare.cri.nz

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