Sustainable NZ Business
Kate Hall

Kate Hall

5 Sustainable New Zealand Businesses To Look Out For This Year

The growing awareness of our climate crisis has bought with it a wave of businesses jumping on the ‘sustainability wagon’. New Zealand corporates, big and small, have begun to hire sustainability consultants, appoint Chief Sustainability Officers, and generally reassess how their business decisions affect the planet.

2019 was the year business owners became aware of our environmental crisis.

2020 is the year business owners act on it.

The progression of New Zealand businesses in terms of their sustainability efforts, is predicted to be huge this year. Although every business will be making changes, keep an eye out for these 5 leading sustainable businesses this year.

Kate Sylvester has been a crucial part of the New Zealand fashion scene since the mid-90s. The brand’s sustainability values haven’t always been in the spotlight, but in 2018 Kate Sylvester made a big statement by creating Mindful Fashion: “a New Zealand industry collective that aims to strengthen the local fashion and textile industry by promoting long term sustainable growth through responsible business practice and industry investment.”

Two years on, Mindful Fashion has grown in members, Kate Sylvester offers repair schemes, compostable packaging, and uses technology in their design process that minimises fabric waste. In 2020, it’s fair to predict Kate Sylvester will continue leading the New Zealand fashion industry towards a more circular and sustainable model.

For some businesses, it takes a while to change habits and adapt to a mindset that considers the planet. But for Ethique, the environment has always been the centre of attention. Ethique is an award winning international beauty brand who make beauty products in bar form. Last year, Ethique launched in several countries, including Japan and the UK, bringing cruelty free, vegan, plastic free, and palm oil free beauty products to the masses. Ethique started in 2012 as a science lab experiment…. 7 years later, founder, Brianne West, was recently named the EY Young Entrepreneur of the year. Every business would do well to stay up to date with Ethique and their many movements.

Last year Air New Zealand trialled the edible coffee cup, committed to increasing the number of single-use plastic items it will remove from its operation by more than double, and continued to develop their carbon offsetting programmes. Named best airline of the year 2020, Air New Zealand have the opportunity to become the best example of a sustainable airline.

Their switch to plant based cups was one step, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they began tinkering with electric powered planes too. New Zealand’s ‘clean and green’ persona would soar if their best airline took sustainable steps no one else has before. Watch this space.

In 2019, Mitre 10 employed their first Sustainability Manager. Mitre 10 hasn’t been vocal about their sustainability efforts to date, but we’re positive there is a lot going on behind the scenes. As New Zealand’s largest home improvement and garden retailer, the new appointment of a Sustainability Manager will be a positive example for all home improvement and garden retailers. Already, Mitre 10’s ‘Think Efficiency‘ statement falls inline with a sustainable 2020 focus:

“Being more energy efficient is a great step towards living more sustainably. Being aware of our energy and resource use is a simple way to help reduce our impact on the environment. From insulating, cutting out draughts and weatherproofing your home, through to minimising waste and recycling, there are a number of improvements we can help you with to make your home more efficient.”

The recent statement by The Warehouse Group‘s Chief Sustainability Officer says it all:

“We are living through an inflection point, where the system we have built our 21st century economic prosperity on needs a reset, and a new set of rules. It is no secret. Consumerism and liberal systems have created unsustainable imbalances, both socially and environmentally, here in New Zealand like elsewhere. How do we tackle the next chapter of our developments, a sustainable economic development that offers a just society?”

The Warehouse Group have, and always will, hold sustainability as a key value when carrying out business. As we look into 2020, we can expect them to focus on ethical procurement, and continue to uphold their carbon neutral goals through offsetting and innovation.

In 2019, ecostore was named ‘leading sustainable brand in NZ’ for the 5th year in the row. ecostore‘s mission to provide individuals with lifestyle and cleaning products that are safer for people and the planet, is growing rapidly as consumers become aware of their powerful purchasing decisions. ecostore have refill stations nation wide, and make their bottles out of sugar cane rather than conventional petroleum based plastic. ecostore has always been the first to come out with revolutionary sustainable business practices. In 2020, expect to continue hearing a lot from them.

On the 11th of July, 2019, DB Breweries announced its ambition to halve carbon emissions by 2030. DB Breweries are brewing with less water and less carbon emissions. They’re focusing on more community engagement, safe drinking culture, and a sustainable value chain. “Brewing a better New Zealand” is their mantra, and their sustainability reports show they are on track with their mission. Bold statements and brave goals are what we’ve seen from DB Breweries in the past, and looking forward, expect to see it all in action.

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