Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


What lies beneath…your supply chain?

What lies beneath…your supply chain?

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) today launches one of the first comprehensive studies in the world into how companies can create a more sustainable supply chain and the business benefits for doing this.

Stephen Tindall, Chair NZBCSD explained the rationale for the project: “There is probably not a single New Zealand business that isn’t both a supplier and a customer. Sustainable development is about economic growth that takes proper account of environmental effects and is socially responsible. To be effective it needs to extend from an individual organisation both up the supply chain to its suppliers and its supplier’s suppliers and down the supply chain towards the customer and their customers. This can be a huge ask for companies.”

The NZBCSD guide is designed to explain the business case for reviewing and auditing an organisation's supply chain and to provide practical tools that can be adapted by individual companies to meet their own needs. These include templates for codes of practice to be used with suppliers as well as internal assessment tools.

The project has involved over 20 New Zealand organisations which are engaged in sustainable development and also draws on best practice examples from overseas. There are three principal focus areas – procurement, including traceability back to raw materials; internal logistics and product design/product stewardship. Each chapter has been written for the professionals responsible for the specific area.
Tindall said that the challenge for New Zealand business is clear: “We have an image overseas of a clean, green country with products and services to match. With food and drinks export sales alone in the region of $14 billion we stand to lose a lot if we can’t demonstrate to our customers around the world that we practice what we preach.”

The Guide includes examples of sustainable practice fuelled by customer demand. Eric Barratt, Managing Director, Sanford Sustainable Seafood reports increased prices for “sustainable hoki” in Europe because there is a shortage of suppliers with the appropriate accreditation: “There is an enormous opportunity for New Zealand sustainable fisheries with Unilever, Young’s Blue Crest and even the UK’s Little Chef restaurant chain all using New Zealand’s “fresh and wild” image to market Marine Stewardship Council Hoki which was the world’s first large whitefish stock to achieve MSC certification”.

The NZBCSD cites two principal factors, which will drive a more sustainable supply chain. Firstly, national and local government has a major opportunity and responsibility to influence because of its own procurement budgets. Central Government spends $2.5 billion per year directly on procurement. Including specific environmental and social as well as economic objectives for their suppliers would help make sustainable development mainstream.

The Guide outlines the steps taken by Christchurch City Council in this direction. Ken Lawn, Director of Operations, Christchurch City Council is clear about the challenge: “Unless sustainable development criteria are added into the procurement process by local authorities, there will never be a level playing field. We commit in our Annual Report 2003 to taking into consideration social and environmental impacts when making decisions to create a sustainable city for the future and so introducing this into our procurement policy where possible has to make sense.”

Secondly, global retailers and brand owners have the power to make it happen. In Europe the top 30 grocery retailers account for 67 percent of the total retail sales of NZ dollars 1660 billion with the leading ten European retailers representing 40 percent of total retail sales. Most of these retailers now examine the sustainability of their supply chain. New Zealand’s export market is dependent upon global customer/ consumer practices and the guide provides evidence that these increasingly require sustainable supply chains and traceability.

The NZBCSD Guide to a Sustainable Supply Chain is the latest in a series of NZBCSD Guides to Sustainable Practice. It will be rolled out to members and the wider business community through workshops and seminars. Companies can download the guide and use the interactive tools on

For information:

The NZBCSD was established in May 1999 and is a coalition of 44 leading businesses with a shared commitment to sustainable development. It is a partner organization to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development which is an alliance of 165 international companies, from more than 30 countries.

Project Participants: City Care, Griffins Foods, Hubbard Foods, Landcare Research, Sanford, Shell, TheWarehouse, Urgent Couriers. In addition a number of organisations have contributed to the content of this Guide including: Fonterra, Richmond, Progressive Enterprises, Toyota, Vodafone, Ministry for Environment, Christchurch City Council, Auckland Regional Council, North Shore City Council, Transit, NZ Police

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Government: Delivering Lower Card Fees To Business

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses ... More>>

SEEK NZ Employment Report: April 2021

OVERVIEW OF APRIL 2021: STATE OF THE NATION: April, for the second consecutive month, saw the highest number of jobs ever advertised on Applications per job ad fell 9% month-on-month (m/m). SEEK job ads were up by 12% m/m. SEEK job ads were ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Warns Genesis Over Business Billing Errors

The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to Genesis Energy Limited about billing errors concerning electricity line charges to business customers. Genesis reported the errors to the Commission. The Commission considers that Genesis is likely to ... More>>

Stats: Lower Job Security Linked To Lower Life Satisfaction

People who feel their employment is insecure are more likely than other employed people to rate their overall life satisfaction poorly, Stats NZ said today. New survey data from the March 2021 quarter shows that 26 percent of employed people who thought ... More>>

The Conversation: The Outlook For Coral Reefs Remains Grim Unless We Cut Emissions Fast — New Research

A study of 183 coral reefs worldwide quantified the impacts of ocean warming and acidification on reef growth rates. Even under the lowest emissions scenarios, the future of reefs is not bright. More>>

The Conversation: Why Now Would Be A Good Time For The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand To Publish Stress Test Results For Individual Banks

Set against the backdrop of an economy healing from 2020’s annus horribilis , this week’s Financial Stability Report (FSR) from the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) was cautiously reassuring: the country’s financial system is sound, though vulnerabilities remain. More>>