Business Scoop

Business forms new peak industry sustainability organisation

Press Release – Business New Zealand

Major corporates have voted today to form a new peak industry organisation to promote sustainable business and policies.Media release
30 November, 2011

Business forms new peak industry sustainability organisation

Major corporates have voted today to form a new peak industry organisation to promote sustainable business and policies.

Members of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development (NZBCSD) voted overwhelmingly to form a new Sustainable Business Council (SBC) in association with BusinessNZ.

BusinessNZ’s Sustainable Business Forum (SBF) will merge with the new peak body.

The new SBC will start with more than 49 member companies, including some of the country’s largest, like Fonterra, in what BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly describes as an opportunity to build “a strong collective voice” on sustainability led by business.

“New Zealand has a strong interest in sustainability. It makes sense for us to have one consolidated voice representing the New Zealand business community, providing businesses with leadership, best practice and advocacy in an area that is now a key issue in mainstream business all over the world,” Mr O’Reilly says.

The SBC will be chaired by Deloitte partner and sustainability leader Brett Tomkins and a transitional executive of nine, while more companies are recruited – and a new executive of 12 is elected in late February.

Mr Tomkins says the formation of the new organisation will boost efforts to make sustainable business practices and solutions more mainstream. It will advance opportunities to work with BusinessNZ’s Major Companies Group and the 76,000 companies associated with BusinessNZ’s four affiliated regional organisations throughout the country.

The newly formed SBC will provide its members with a range of new benefits as well as continuing existing projects from both groups – including a key leadership platform globally linked to policy, business and sustainability organisations; significant government engagement; diverse company representation; and collaborative partnerships bringing together private, public and community sectors.

Two new ground-breaking projects are expected to continue and benefit from the partnership: the NZBCSD’s Vision 2050 project, which looks at the opportunities and solutions for businesses and New Zealand to survive and benefit in a country where the population nearly doubles, and the Sustainable Business Forum’s sustainable business performance indicators project.

With the latter, businesses can measure their performance in sustainability against a set of key performance indicators. These will then be used to develop benchmarking so businesses can compare performance, gauge their competitiveness and publicise their ratings if desired. The indicator set is available to download here at

Vision 2050 is bringing companies together to develop a road map towards a New Zealand in 2050 where up to 7million people are living well and within the means of the planet. It explores the roles to be played by business, government and society in achieving this goal. The Vision 2050 report will be published in December.

The NZBCSD is in its eleventh year and has been influential on a number of policies including waste minimisation, emissions management, water allocation and home performance improvement through its research-based projects.

Outgoing NZBCSD chair Bob Field says the formation of the SBC is “a great opportunity to join forces with another organisation which will greatly advance the original aspirations of our founders to mainstream sustainability in business”.

The SBC will begin operating as a new entity from January 1, 2012.


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