Seventeen steps to sustainability

25 Sep 2017
SOURCE:
Sunday Business, Fairfax

Sustainability and how to achieve it in business is a growing challenge for Kiwi companies.

And the topic is in the spotlight on September 25 – the day which marks two years since 193 countries, including New Zealand, signed up to the 17-strong list of United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These pose inspiring but ambitious targets in the pursuit of economic growth, ecological integrity and social progress, from programmes that help alleviate poverty to those that help introduce the concept of human rights into business.

The SDGs were inspired by the often quoted assertion by Ban Ki Moon, a former United Nations Secretary-general, that "we don't have a plan B, because there is no planet B".

Starting next week, Sunday Business, Stuff and the Sustainable Business Council, will be taking a look at some of the exciting projects being undertaken by New Zealand businesses large and small, to both reduce negative impacts on the communities around them, and also promote aims which do some good.

Stuff has started the journey on really understanding what becoming a socially responsible corporation means. We want to share our journey and that of other companies, so we can all benefit.

Stuff's CSR manage Annamarie Jamieson said: "For us Corporate Social Responsibility is not a token programme. CSR is a way of doing business – an ethos – that brings profound purpose to everything we do.

"We do this because the best business don is business that benefits everyone. Our social purpose represents our business purpose. Building a business with social good at the core gives meaning in our day-to-day work".

Stuff's own programmes will be featured in the weeks ahead as we examine the work being done to meet those Sustainable Development Goals.

Meanwhile, the Sustainable Business Council's work is directed at making sustainable business practices within the New Zealand business community mainstream. It is the only global network partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

SBC's executive director Abbie Reynolds said its 91 members believed business has a leading role to play in addressing climate change, as well as New Zealand's top environmental and social issues.

She said: "We help businesses create a roadmap for action. Sustainability is a process and we are here to encourage and offer help on the journey, by connecting members so they can work together on projects and share experiences."

This series features the work of Sustainable Business Council member businesses and other companies. 

Poverty amid prosperity, what businesses are doing to help

Food, education and higher incomes the path to zero hunger

Why companies should be investing in education

Businesses going beyond the call on health and well-being

Automatic pay rise for parents on leave shrinks pay gap

Companies cut down on water use, conserve costs

It pays to be sustainable in the power business, executives say

Kiwis creating jobs on the other side of the world

Why sustainability is the key driver of innovation

Reduced inequalities – Vector trials solar energy sharing for those who may never have considered it

Is building a sustainable city really possible?

Recycling costs set to rise(not online)

Lion goes for sustainable gold with micro-brewery near Christchurch

Auckland airport becomes a sustainability champion

Eco-farm looks for sustainable solutions to protect life under water

Organic juice company’s sustainable planting efforts start young

Law firm boss says bad behaviour in workplaces must be stamped out

Contact and iwi work with African tribe to find energy solutions