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Outstanding year with string of firsts 4 Landcare


News Release - 11 October 2001

Outstanding year with string of firsts for Landcare Research

Landcare Research has had an excellent year, charting its best ever financial performance, and setting a string of scientific, environmental and social precedents. It is also challenging other Crown Research Institutes and businesses in general to follow its lead in a new approach to annual reporting.

Landcare Research's first Triple Bottom Line annual report has now been tabled in Parliament. The company achieved a record revenue of $42.75 million and record operating surplus of $3.55 million for the 2000/2001 financial year. It has paid a maiden dividend of $3.5 million dollars to the Government's Venture Investment Fund. Landcare Research has increased its overall turnover by 50% from 1992-2000, and achieved the highest percentage growth (1995-2000) of all the CRIs in revenue from clients other than the Foundation for Science, Research and Technology. Also, Sirtrack, Landcare Research's subsidiary based in Havelock North, grew global sales of specialised wildlife tracking equipment to more than $2.2 million.

Landcare Research has taken the innovative step of presenting this information in a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) report. This form of reporting combines a traditional annual report with details on the company's impact on the environment, and relationships with staff and the community. Landcare Research Chief Executive, Dr Andy Pearce, says the TBL report is one of the first of its kind in New Zealand, and the first to have been fully verified by an external auditor. As proof that the company practises what it preaches, the report is printed on fully recycled materials, using 100% vegetable dye, with no glossy paper at all.

"We are strongly committed to showing leadership in TBL reporting" Dr Pearce says. "Landcare Research is also helping other companies, such as Hubbard Foods Ltd, to prepare TBL reports. "We have found the TBL approach more fully aligned to our requirements under the CRI Act 1992 than the traditional approach. It has provided useful insights into staff and other performance issues that we may not have arrived at by other means".

The Warehouse founder and chair of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development Stephen Tindall is also a strong advocate of TBL reporting and applauds Landcare Research's approach. "We think businesses have a responsibility to report on their environmental and social performance, not just on their finances" Mr Tindall says.

"More and more leading companies overseas and in New Zealand are producing TBL reports. Landcare Research is a leader in TBL reporting in New Zealand and The Warehouse is delighted to be working with them on our reporting.

"Landcare Research's 2001 report sets the standard for other companies" Mr Tindall says.

Dr Pearce says he agrees with Mr Tindall on the need to inspire other companies to do their best for staff and the environment, and says Landcare Research is already working on this.

"This year we initiated EBEX21 (Emissions/Biodiversity Exchange 21) to help organisations offset their greenhouse gas emissions by restoring native forest biodiversity.

"Also, as part of a series of initiatives with Auckland University, Landcare Research has announced plans to relocate Auckland staff to the Tamaki campus, where new, purpose-designed 'green' buildings will be constructed to exemplary standards of environmental performance".

Lessons learned "One of the lessons we learned through the process of TBL reporting is that while it's important to have top quality reporting, it's the performance that counts" Dr Pearce says. "However, the old adage is true -what gets measured, gets managed. Identifying elements such as energy usage in our TBL report has helped us to focus on improvements.

"For example, we have reduced the amount of CO2 emitted from our own activities by 5% in the past year, and our energy consumption by 4.6%. The reduction in electricity use alone has saved us tens of thousands of dollars".

ENDS A pdf file of the full annual report with more detail on Landcare Research's financial and scientific milestones can be found on www.landcare.cri.nz For hard copies, please contact Sarah Stokes (03 325 6700 x3766 or StokesS@landcare.cri.nz). For further information, contact: Dr Andy Pearce Chief Executive Landcare Research Lincoln Wk:(03) 325 6700 x3756 Mobile: 025 324 746 PearceA@landcare.cri.nz


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