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Sustainability champion strengthens Environmental Choice NZ

Sustainability champion to strengthen Environmental Choice New Zealand Board

Michael Field, voted one of the world’s top ten sustainability champions, has accepted appointment to the board that oversees the country’s eco-label, Environmental Choice New Zealand. Owned by the government, but operated by the independent NZ Ecolabelling Trust, the label is internationally acknowledged for its robust standards. The turnover of companies with products passing its environmental assessments exceeds two billion dollars, giving the label a strong stake in the economy.

Announcing the appointment today, Trust Chair Susan Paterson emphasised Mr Field’s corporate credentials and the breadth of his practical engagement with environmental issues. Mr Field is currently the Sustainable Development Manager for BNZ and prior to that was Sustainability Manager for North Shore City Council.

He was responsible for developing the sustainable procurement framework used for Rugby World Cup 2011 and while working with Interface Inc, one of the world’s most applauded environmentally responsible organisations, as their National Sustainability Manager was voted one of the company’s global top ten sustainability champions. He has presented and published papers on sustainable manufacturing and construction; environmental aspects of energy, finance and technology; green public relations and supply chain management.

‘We are very fortunate to have someone of Michael’s calibre join as a trustee,” says Susan Paterson. “His appointment follows a rigorous, well advertised process, through the Institute of Directors and other networks with a large number of well qualified candidates. Michael will bring strengths in knowing how to drive sustainable procurement. He has a deep understanding of eco-labelling and knowledge from working with some of New Zealand’s largest corporates such as Genesis Energy, Sanford, and Auckland Council.”

Michael Field says he hopes to facilitate the growing engagement of the eco-label with green building projects in particular, and to support further recognition of the contribution that ecolabelled products can make to sustainability across the country.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to assist with furthering the great work that Environmental Choice has already begun, and strongly believe it is one of the leading eco-labels in the world,” he comments.

“The effective management of an organisation’s supply chain, whether in the public or private sector, can deliver significant benefits both to the organisation itself in terms of business efficiency and environmental outcomes, and to New Zealand as a whole. The selection of lower impact products delivers environmental benefits, but also greatly contributes to the management of overall supply chain and reputational risk as well.”

Mr Field formally begins his 6-year term on 7 October, 2011.

Environmental Choice has grown consistently since the formation of the NZ Ecolabelling Trust in 2002. Its specifications have been acknowledged by a British Government (DEFRA) report as world’s best practice. Over two thousand products have now passed its robust and transparent third-party assessments and bear the green planet-and-tick symbol. Environmental Choice New Zealand is a member of the Global Ecolabelling Network.

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