Vision 2050 in New Zealand

Send to a friend

Vision 2050

Vision 2050 provides a framework to face the challenges New Zealanders face over the next 40 years and consider how business can lead the change our country needs.

Business as usual is not an option

As a nation and as a world population, we can no longer sustain the way we live. We need to make massive changes, fast. If we don't start now, we face a hugely uncertain and unpleasant future.

However, we still have the chance for a great future where all New Zealanders live well and within the limits of the planet.

The conversation that will create this change starts now: Vision 2050 is the platform from which we leap into the future, together.

Back to top

In late 2010, the SBC brought together a group of young business professionals to help build a picture of a sustainable New Zealand in 2050.

These "Future Leaders" were nominated by their organisations to take part in the SBC's Vision 2050 project and are among the best and brightest our businesses have to offer.

Although initiated in New Zealand by the SBC, Vision 2050 is part of a global vision initiative that is helping business transition towards sustainability.

Over the past year, the Future Leaders group has worked towards creating this vision for New Zealand in 2050 in which we live well and within the limits of the planet. Workshops, research and collaborative thinking have stretched the minds of these young leaders towards a future that they now view with excitement and positivity.

The project team has also engaged with chief executives from some of our biggest organisations, including Sovereign, Beca, BMW, HSBC, Toyota New Zealand and Siemens. These senior business leaders have added their experience to the project and reviewed aspects of the work performed. The expertise from Pure Advantage and the New Zealand Institute has also been invaluable in framing the project outcomes.

The Future Leaders represent a cross section of New Zealand industries and specialisations. Working alongside the SBC, they are dedicated to continuing their work towards 2050 and being part of the community that Vision 2050 has created.

Back to top

The culmination of the last year of intensive work is the group of 11 pathways that will help guide us towards our vision for New Zealanders in 2050 to be living well and within the limits of the planet.

Each pathway represents a scenario for business to make changes; they provide inspiration and a positive view of the future. The pathways can be used as a tool, a way to start the change process.

Inherent in the pathways is the theme of interconnectedness: we need to approach all of these pathway areas in a collaborative way in order to be successful.

Forming these connections is ultimately the responsibility of businesses, industry, government and civil society working together.

Do you know of positive activities (past, present or future) in your workplace or community, that might contribute to the Vision 2050 pathways? We'd like to hear from you, please email us.

Human Development

New Zealanders have equal access to opportunities for development. Quality of life rates highest in the world.

Cultural Diversity

We are many people from throughout the world. One people walking together in this country.


Mobility in New Zealand is accessible, zero carbon and facilitates social and economic progress.


New Zealand supplies premium agricultural products and technology to the world.


New Zealand's marine environment is preserved for future generations while providing food, energy and recreation.


New Zealand has abundant and accessible native forests. Plantation forests provide for a thriving clean energy and wood products industry.


New Zealand is a place where talent wants to live, where businesses want to invest and innovation thrives.

Energy & Power

New Zealand energy is sustainable, renewable and affordable.


New Zealand homes and commercial buildings are healthy, sustainable and durable.

Waste & Materials

Sustainable processes and principles are the basis for material management. New Zealand has zero waste.


Tourism interacts harmoniously with the environment while providing high economic value to New Zealand.

Back to top

The opportunities presented by changing the way we do business are significant.

Based on the priority actions and interconnectedness of the pathways, the Vision 2050 team has identified the following opportunities for business:

Science & technology

Increased innovation through targeted research and development and policies to attract and retain the right skills will give us the ability to differentiate and increase our economic return.

Energy sourcing & use

Focus on decreasing energy intensity coupled with low carbon economic growth creates opportunities for enabling technology and cost saving.

Emerging markets

Emerging markets are a growth area for New Zealand. Developing targeted strategies for these markets can help us capitalise on opportunities.

Production & consumption systems

Implementing a full life-cycle approach to product stewardship creates the opportunities for innovation and cost savings. It is a smart and strategic tool to future proof your product or service.


Access to new markets and products will be made possible through increased communication and a collaborative approach to doing business.

Back to top

We need industry experts and business leaders to enter the debate to strengthen the pathways and form the basis for action.

To facilitate this, the SBC has committed to the following during the next 12 months:

  • Provide Vision 2050 resources as the platform for action – these will be made accessible via the Vision 2050 website.
  • Engage with businesses, experts, government, civil society and youth on the findings and how they could be refined or used to begin the process of change.
  • Deliver two specific projects intended to move New Zealand business towards the vision for 2050 – covering a) corporate ecosystem valuation; and b) sustainable production and consumption.

Back to top

Vision 2050 mural

The Vision 2050 mural is the visual representation of the pathways previously outlined.

It is designed as a tool to help you think about the pathway areas and provides a concise overview of the key information of each pathway.

Constructing your own Vision 2050 mural can be a powerful strategic exercise. It requires your organisation to answer the questions:

  • Which pathways will impact your business?
  • What are you doing now that you won't be able to do in the future?
  • If you stay the same, will you still be in business in 2050?
  • Why?
  • Why not?

Explore the Vision 2050 Pathways and create your own mural here

Download the Vision 2050 mural [4.6MB]

Send any feedback on your process, challenges and successes to

Back to top

Download a printable version of the Vision 2050 Report [12.3MB]

Vision 2050 Report

Back to top