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NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards 2017

Record year of award entries sees NZ Post take top sustainability award

NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards 2017 is a year of record award entries with one of New Zealand’s oldest state-owned companies taking out the top award.

Rachel Brown, CEO Sustainable Business Network (SBN), says she is delighted to see NZ Post take out the supreme award. “The company is going through a period of disruption in its business model, with people sending less mail and more parcels. NZ Post has chosen to use sustainability as a driver for change and this is paying dividends.

“NZ Post has led the way in sustainability for some time now. It produced New Zealand’s first integrated report in 2013 using an international framework and it has reported every year since. It uses electric vehicles, called Paxters, to deliver mail and parcels. And it is partnering with NZ Red Cross to help build resilient communities. These are just a few examples.”

“Using NZ Post services has now become the first choice for businesses that are sustainability minded.”

The high level of entries to the Awards reflects the growth in sustainability initiatives across New Zealand businesses at a time when sustainability is shifting to the mainstream of business and policy.

The latest research by Colmar Brunton says 83 per cent of Kiwis would stop buying a company’s products if they heard about them being irresponsible or unethical and 73% want to work in companies that are sustainable.

Brown says “over the years we have seen a move from efficient resource management into real system shifts, responding to critical themes like restoring nature, renewable transport and good food, and reflecting the growth of new areas like the circular economy.

The finalists this year include small businesses, corporates and not for profits. This shows that all types of organisations can make a success out of sustainability”.

NZ Post’s unique partnership with NZ Red Cross supports its disaster management programme to build more sustainable communities. These initiatives include emergency response, disaster relief for New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

When disaster strikes and the NZ Red Cross responds, NZ Post makes available support including logistics, postal, banking services and volunteer mobilisation.

The Awards judges said this is an impressive, world leading partnership in duration and scale. It is supporting emergency management at the full cost of NZ Post. It is a significant, well-resourced and comprehensive approach to increasing resilience of vulnerable communities experiencing adversity.

The partnership provides a dedicated NZ Post/Kiwibank account for Red Cross appeals accessible through an extensive network of retail stores. This gives New Zealanders an immediately accessible and established channel to make donations within 24 hours of Red Cross launching an appeal.

In the past year, $65,000 was raised in this way to help those affected by the Kaikoura Earthquake and $7,000 for the Bay of Plenty floods. Since 2011 more than $630,000 has been donated, with 100% going to support those affected.

As part of the partnership, NZ Post supports Red Cross's five Disaster Welfare and Support Trucks located around the country. This support means they can be deployed quickly in response to a disaster. These trucks can unpack to become a welfare support reception, providing shelter and food for up to 150 people. In the last year the trucks assisted over 1,300 people affected by disaster in NZ.

Donna Williams, General Manager Customer Experience and Marketing for NZI, principal partner of the Sustainable Business Network says, “Being a sustainable business is a lot more than having green initiatives. It’s about creating a business model that is resilient and endures the test of time. It means taking responsibility for the people it employs and the communities and environment it operates in. This year’s supreme winner does just that, so we’re thrilled they’re being recognised for their efforts.”


-ends-


Notes for editors:

NZI Sustainable Business Network Award winners for 2017 and their individual stories and achievements listed below.

Sustainability Superstar
Sponsored by Westpac
Winner: Bob Burnett, Bob Burnett Architecture
Commendation: Dee and Steve West, ChargeNet NZ


Communicating for Change
Sponsored by Cadence Communications
Winner: WasteMINZ
Commendation: Sustainable Winegrowing NZ and The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard


Going Circular
Sponsored by Auckland Council
Winner: Wishbone Design Studio
Commendations:
• EcoStock Supplies Ltd
• Ethique


Efficiency Champion
Sponsored by Ricoh
Winner: Christchurch International Airport Limited
Commendation: Foodstuffs NZ Ltd


Restoring Nature
Sponsored by Department of Conservation
Winner: Zealandia
Commendation: Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari


Transforming Food
Sponsored by Yealands Family Wines
Winner: Common Unity Project Aotearoa
Commendations:
• Otago Locusts Limited
• Pakaraka Permaculture


Hardwired for Social Good
Winner: Bayfair Shopping Centre
Commendation: Little Yellow Bird


Partnering for Good
Winners:
• Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari
• New Zealand Post & New Zealand Red Cross


Revolutionising Energy
Sponsored by EECA Business
Winner: Vector
Commendations:
• Bayfair Shopping Centre
• Reid Technology Ltd
___________________________________________________________________

Smarter Transport
Sponsored by Opus International Consultants
Winner: Flip the Fleet
Commendations:
• Ecotricity
• New Zealand Post


NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand
Winner: New Zealand Post
Commendations:
• Wishbone Design Studio
• Common Unity Project Aotearoa
___________________________________________________________________

Award winners’ stories

Sustainability Superstar
Bob Burnett, Bob Burnett Architecture

Bob is an ardent advocate for energy efficient and sustainable building design. He has shown tireless commitment to create better places for the people of New Zealand.
Bob has been heavily involved with Homestar, a national rating tool that measures the health, warmth and efficiency of NZ houses. He was the first certified Homestar assessor in Christchurch. He also designed and funded the development of New Zealand’s first 10-star Homestar rated homes.

Bob founded the Superhome Movement in Christchurch. This is a not-for-profit, industry-led initiative that aims to normalise energy efficient, sustainable homes through open source sharing of new technologies, design innovations and building techniques.

He is passionate about educating through speaking on environmental design and green building. He wants to help people understand the link between building code standards and health, wellbeing and environmental impact.


Communicating for Change
WasteMINZ

Love Food Hate Waste, overseen by WasteMINZ, is a behaviour change campaign to reduce food waste and increase resource efficiency. It is the first of its kind in the waste industry in New Zealand.

Waste reduction starts with increasing people’s awareness around food waste and their role in making a change. WasteMINZ has raised this awareness through communications tools including infographics, videos, blog content and social media. It has also included awareness raising initiatives such as the opening of the Community Fridge in Auckland, the Brain Popcorn Challengeand the Great Persimmon Rescue.

In the first three months of the campaign, awareness of the $820 million worth of food wasted by households every year increased by 13%. Over the first 18 months, social media content had more than 6.5 million impressions. Hundreds of thousands of people were reached through organic visits to the website, online advertising and third-party coverage.
WasteMINZ partnered with 60 councils and community groups across the country to deliver Love Food Hate Waste, with support from the Ministry of the Environment.

Going Circular
Wishbone Design Studio
Wishbone Design Studio has created a multi-functional balance bike for children aged one to six, made from 100% post-consumer recycled carpet. Wishbone Bike Recycled Edition is the world’s first bicycle made from 100% recycled material.

The frame of the Recycled Edition bike is made from engineered resin sourced from recycled residential carpet. Each bike diverts 3.4kg of used carpet away from landfills and saves 4.7 litres of oil otherwise used in virgin plastic production.

The bike introduces very young children to a lifetime of cycling, while reducing landfill, minimising raw materials, and avoiding the consumption of fossil fuels in manufacturing.
The bike is a three-in-one product which transforms from three to two wheels and grows with the child, thanks to its patented RotafixTM seat-and-frame adjustability system. It is consciously designed for 100% reparability: every component is available for after-market purchase.

Efficiency Champion
Christchurch Airport

Christchurch Airport pioneered the use of a large-scale New Zealand-designed system that heats and cools the building using the artesian water reservoir below the terminal. This was a world first.

The Airport recognised that simply adopting the latest technology would not automatically mean the terminal was operating as sustainably as possible. Instead, the company understood the need to invest time and effort to continually refine operations and maximise efficiency.

Since the new terminal opened in 2013 the Airport has worked hard to cut total energy use. In the past year alone it has saved more than 6%. Since the 2012 financial year, carbon emissions have been cut by 22%.

Christchurch Airport has worked with consultant Enercon, which conducted a detailed energy audit, and with the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) on a collaboration agreement. By January 2018, the Airport will have achieved more than 10% in energy savings, more than twice the target set by EECA. This has been achieved at a time of record passenger numbers.

Restoring Nature
Zealandia

Zealandia is a conservation project restoring 225 hectares of ecosystem and threatened species. A world-first predator-proof fence has provided a safe haven for native flora and fauna for nearly 20 years.

Restoration of this valley in central Wellington has been an incredible success, largely as a result of thousands of hours of volunteer effort. Native species have dramatically increased, and several species that were wiped out from the area have been returned. Eighteen species have been reintroduced, most of which now have thriving, self-sustaining populations. This includes some of our most charismatic species, such as little spotted kiwi and hīhī, as well as tuatara and spotted skink. Birds once extinct from the mainland are now flowing beyond the fence. Kākā, kākāriki, tīeke and hihi can often be spotted in suburban backyards for the first time in New Zealand’s recent history.

The sanctuary attracts over 120,000 visitors annually. It is an opportunity to reconnect people with the natural world.

The project has involved a range of partners over many years including Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Department of Conservation, iwi and community groups.

Transforming Food
Common Unity Project Aotearoa

Community Unity Project Aotearoa is building a local food ecosystem to address the lack of accessible, affordable, healthy food in Lower Hutt.

The project is developing a self-fertilising ecosystem by transforming borrowed lawns into organic, intensively productive micro-farms across the Hutt Valley. It is growing food while creating employment, feeding hungry school children and increasing accessibility of healthy food via a co-operative grocery, The Common Grocer.

The project provides training and support to community members wishing to become farmers. In return, these members contribute a portion of their harvest to the land owner, and some to the Koha kitchen (an initiative that feeds 2,500 school children every day). They sell the rest to cafés, restaurants, markets and The Common Grocer.

Since 2012, almost 7,000kg of produce has been produced for the Koha kitchen, making 21,000 lunches for school children. Through collaborations with Kaibosh and Commonsense Organics, 7,530kg of food has been rescued.


Hardwired for Social Good
Bayfair Shopping Centre

Bayfair has become the most accessible shopping centre in New Zealand, helping the one in four New Zealanders who have an accessibility need.

In October 2015, Bayfair was the first business to achieve the top rating of Platinum from Be.Accessible. In November 2015, Bayfair became the first New Zealand shopping centre to install a parking space for dogs. It then installed charging facilities for electric vehicles and mobility scooters.

By improving accessibility, Bayfair has raised awareness, demonstrated community leadership and met the needs of the growing number of people with accessibility issues. It has shown how practical improvements can be implemented to enhance accessibility.
Accessibility is now business as usual and ingrained in Bayfair’s culture. It has changed the way not only retailers, staff and centre management view accessibility, but the general awareness of the community and public.

Future plans include making shopping easier for autistic children and parents.

Partnering for Good
Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari

Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari combines close public viewing of whales, dolphins and sea birds in the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, with important marine science research conducted on board.

Far more than just seeing these magnificent creatures, passengers are immersed in important scientific research conducted on board. They are also able to enjoy an expert education about whales, dolphins, other marine marine-life, all while contributing directly to their protection. This is through a partnership with the Department of Conservation and both Massey and Auckland Universities.

Working alongside key partners, Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari has collectively achieved significant gains with respect to the preservation of species and environment through research, education and awareness all whilst simultaneously developing a unique visitor experience and thriving business.

For 17 years Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari has been educating passengers about the importance of the Hauraki Gulf and its inhabitants. Alongside this public education it has also provided its vessel the Dolphin Explorer free of charge for the purposes of marine-life and environmental science research efforts. It has voluntarily and directly contributed to dozens of PhD and Masters-level research studies. In the past 12 months alone 15,000 passengers have enjoyed this unique experience.

NZ Post & NZ Red Cross

NZ Post has a unique partnership with the NZ Red Cross, supporting its disaster management programme to build more sustainable communities. These initiatives include emergency response and disaster relief for New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.

When disaster strikes and the NZ Red Cross responds, NZ Post makes available support including logistics, postal, banking services and volunteer mobilisation.

This partnership provides a dedicated NZ Post/Kiwibank account for Red Cross appeals accessible through an extensive network of retail stores. This gives New Zealanders an immediately accessible and established channel to make donations within 24 hours of Red Cross launching an appeal.

In the past year, $65,000 was raised in this way to help those affected by the Kaikoura Earthquake and $7,000 for the Bay of Plenty floods. Since 2011 over $630,000 has been donated, with 100% going to support those affected.

As part of the partnership, NZ Post supports Red Cross's five Disaster Welfare and Support Trucks located around the country. This support means they can be deployed quickly in response to a disaster. These trucks can unpack to become a welfare support reception, providing shelter and food for up to 150 people. In the last year the trucks assisted over 1,300 people affected by disaster in NZ.

Over the past six years NZ Post has made sustainability a key part of how it does business in the many sectors in which it operates and how it engages with communities to support shared resilience building, growth and prosperity.

Revolutionising Energy
Vector

Vector partnered with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei on a revolutionary community housing project. The 30-home residential development for first-home buyers includes a networked system of solar panels and batteries, inspiring energy conscious behaviour.

The Kāinga Tuatahi housing project in Ōrakei is democratising access to new energy technology, while reducing power bills. The partnership between Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Vector enabled the technology to be part of the development, with a bespoke funding arrangement making it accessible to buyers of affordable homes.

The system is networked, meaning individual residents can share excess power with others in the community who need it more. New technology is coming which could enable peer-to-peer distribution outside the community. This would enable gifting to those with less means to purchase energy.

The community solution became fully operational across all 30 homes in December 2016. It helps Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei fill the role of kaitiaki of their land. They are able to facilitate greater self-sufficiency and have reduced the community’s environmental impact. In the first five months following installation, 47% of the community’s energy needs were met by onsite generation and 2.84 tonnes of carbon dioxide was saved.

Smarter Transport
Flip the Fleet

Flip the Fleet aims to accelerate uptake of Low Emission Vehicles (LEVs) in New Zealand by measuring and communicating their performance and benefits.

Anyone can enroll free of charge and every month upload metrics from their LEV’s dashboard to a communal database. The software then calculates and reports metrics such as return on investment, trends in efficiency, battery state of health, and greenhouse gas emissions avoided. Users are alerted if their vehicle is performing poorly, or affirmed if they are leaders.

By using this ‘citizen science’ approach, Flip the Fleet is leveraging the passion and experience of early adopters. Uncertainty and lack of knowledge prevent many people from buying LEVs. By pooling data, Flip the Fleet brings the debate onto an evidential and scientific footing. The company connects users, business and policy makers. It launched in June 2017 and hopes to have monthly data from over 1000 LEVs by June 2018.



About the Sustainable Business Network
The Sustainable Business Network is New Zealand’s largest and longest-standing organisation dedicated to sustainable business. It includes hundreds of businesses that connect through events, resources and projects to help New Zealand become a more sustainable nation.

Our independent network is open to all organisations actively working to improve their sustainability performance.

www.sustainable.org.nz

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