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NZ gets ‘Must try harder’ report

9 February 2011


NZ gets ‘Must try harder’ report

Canterbury business people are being warned that New Zealand needs to try much harder if the country is to pull itself out of an ever-decreasing economic and environmental spiral.

Environmental specialist Duncan Stewart will tell a breakfast forum at the Canterbury Club on Thursday that New Zealand is not necessarily living up to its ‘100% Pure’ image, and that the country’s GDP per capita remains lower than the OECD average and much lower than Australia’s.

“The global problems of land degredation, fresh water scarcity, ocean degredation, biodiversity loss and atmospheric pollution are themes echoed right here in New Zealand,” said Mr Stewart. “Our household wealth is declining, water quality is degrading, emissions increasing and our agricultural yield falling. Our report card is a ‘Fail’, and we need to try harder if we want to enjoy a better long term standard of living in a healthy enviornment.”

Mr Stewart, an environmental specialist and entrepreneur with a passion for growth businesses, innovative technology and inspiring people, said that New Zealand needs to position itself to take advantage of a decarbonising world.

“Green is the new gold. Any nation wishing to get ahead of the game needs to look seriously at its domestic energy security, sustainable consumption of resources, minimisation of waste with increased efficiency, development of domestic competencies, leveraging of key economic advantages, delivering innovation through investment, and increased exporting,” Mr Stewart said. “These are the hallmarks of a ‘clean economy’.”

But Mr Stewart said it’s not up to any single company or organisation, or even the government on its own. “It has to be a unified approach – full and total commitment by all key players.” he said.

Mr Stewart is founder of the cleantech company The Greenhouse and also acts as the spokesperson for high-powered business lobby group, 100% Plan. He is one of three keynote speakers at the “Perspectives on Sustainability and Business Leadership in the Current Economy” forum on Thursday 10 February, organised by the EIANZ (Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand) in association with the NZ Institute of Management. The other speakers are Mr Roger Sutton, CEO of orion, and Ms Kerry Griffiths, Principal Sustainability Consultant, URS NZ.


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