Kiwis are finding themselves increasingly locked out of the housing market with housing unaffordability continuing to increase. Community Finance breaks through the complex barriers to build desperately needed houses. Community Finance is a collaboration between philanthropic foundations, financial institutions, community housing providers and the Ministry of Housing. The model involves socially good investors financing community housing partners at affordable rates to build new, energy-efficient and affordable homes for Kiwis.
Working with community housing partners, Community Finance has created the first social impact bond in Aotearoa New Zealand, a form of investment that contributes to better social outcomes.
The Salvation Army Community Bond raised $40m to build 118 apartments and houses over three locations during the Covid crisis. These have housed 150 adults and 59 children. All homes are built to a minimum of NZ Green Building Council Homestar 7 rating.
Community Finance has taken bold strides and issued the Aotearoa Pledge with an enterprising vision to raise $100 million in 2021. It was established to bring transformational change for the community and those in need. As of May 2021, it secured $71m from investors including ANZ, Forsyth Barr, Generate, Pathfinder, Simplicity and The Clare Foundation. This will support a build-to-own programme in partnership with the community housing sector.
Rachel Brown, CEO Sustainable Business Network, which hosts and operates the Awards said “collaboration across sectors is absolutely essential in solving systemic failures like the housing crisis Aotearoa faces. It is fantastic to see this working so effectively and with such great buy-in from visionary partners. This will lead to long term change and inspire others too”.
Altogether there were 10 winners and seven commendations for purpose-led businesses, producing products and services that inspire positive choices and create a better future.
Supreme award finalist Chia Sisters is collaborating to reduce tonnes of carbon emissions in the Nelson area and is using an industry-led model that could be a blueprint for Aotearoa New Zealand to follow. Supreme finalist All Good has supported the building of a full-service medical centre in Ecuador through its long-term commitment to Fairtrade bananas. Kiwis lap up All Good Fairtrade bananas at a rate of 400,000 bunches per month.
Brown says “We are confronted daily with the impacts of Covid and climate change. The businesses winning sustainability awards tonight have not only recognised that the future of business requires different skills and a strategic sustainable lens, but they have also developed skills to meet these challenges that also sees them serving their communities”.
This year’s Sustainability Superstar, a coveted award for an individual’s work, went to Camden Howitt from multi-award-winning Sustainable Coastlines. Howitt’s dedication and skills make a difference to communities, government policy and our environment every day.
2021 Sustainable Business Awards winners
TRANSFORMING NEW ZEALAND – SUPREME AWARD
Winner: Community Finance
Finalists: All Good, Chia Sisters
Sponsored by NZI
Winner: Camden Howitt, Sustainable Coastlines
Commendation: Charmaine Bailie, Kaipatiki Project
Sponsored by Environmental Protection Authority
Winner: Sophia Olo-Whaanga, Dempsey Wood Civil
Sponsored by Toitū Envirocare
Winner: Community Finance
Sponsored by MAS
Winner: Gap Filler
Commendation: Fair Food New Zealand
COMMUNICATING FOR IMPACT
Sponsored by Kind&Co
Winner: Businesses for Climate Action
Commendation: NZ Panels Group
Sponsored by Auckland Council
Commendation: Maggie Marilyn
CLIMATE ACTION LEADER
Sponsored by EECA
Winner: Chia Sisters
Commendation: New Zealand Post
CLIMATE ACTION INNOVATOR
Sponsored by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Sponsored by New World
Winner: All Good
Sponsored by Department of Conservation
Winner: Tahi Estate