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NZ businesses win Sustainability Reporting Awards

Media statement
August 5, 2009

New Zealand businesses win at Trans Tasman Sustainability Reporting Awards

WaterCare Services has been honoured for the sixth year running at the annual trans Tasman sustainable reporting awards presented in Auckland.

WaterCare won the Best Report in the Water Sector award in recognition of its continual leadership in reporting among its peers and was judged overall Runner Up Best Report.

Progressive Enterprises (and its parent company Woolworths) has also been recognised as the Winner of the Best Report for the Retail Sector.

The Warehouse Group was commended for its commitment to ethical retailing and Urgent Couriers was commended in the SME category.

The awards were presented by Nicky Wagner, National's spokesperson on waste at a conference on Economic Sustainability attended by 120 business leaders.

Nicky Wagner congratulated the winners and highlighted some of the initiatives reported which make good economic sense as well as being good for the community and the environment including:-

• Contact Energy's Healthy Homes programme;
• IAG NZ's Pollution Prevention plan for vehicle repairers and their introduction of a car bumper recycling service to reduce waste to landfill;
• The Warehouse's leadership in ethical procurement;
• Westpac's focus on improving financial literacy in the community and NZ Post's literacy campaign; and
• Urgent Courier's energy efficient fleet of vehicles and its focus on ensuring contractors are financially viable.

The 77 entries from Australia and New Zealand in this year's awards by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) were up 54% on last year.

The awards recognise excellence in sustainability reporting incorporating economic, environmental and social impacts.

Companies are judged based on the transparency in their reporting and how well they communicate their performance. Reports must achieve a high level of credibility and provide evidence of the integration of sustainability issues within the business processes and strategy of their organisation.

The coveted awards are endorsed by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The overall Winner of the Best Sustainability Report was VicSuper which also won the awards for Best SME report and Best Report for the Financial Services Sector.

Lyn Mayes of the Business Council, one of seven judges for this year's awards, says it is refreshing to see New Zealand organisations once again receiving top awards.

"I work with companies to help them develop a more sustainable supply chain so I find it particularly encouraging that the food and beverage industry has made significant progress in reporting and accounting for its product stewardship. For both Progressive Enterprises and The Warehouse to be recognised is a huge achievement.

"Members of the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development show clear leadership. It is perhaps no surprise that WaterCare Services, Urgent Couriers and The Warehouse were part of our first sustainable reporting initiative in 2003."

ENDS

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