Transformation Areas

This story reflects success in the highlighted areas.

Damon Birchfield – leading by example

Damon Birchfield is CEO of EcoMatters Environment Trust, a not-for-profit trust whose purpose is to connect people and the environment and to nurture kaitiakitanga (guardianship).

Damon doesn’t treat sustainability as just a day job; it’s part of who he is.

His efforts to lead by example have inspired those around him in work and in his personal life to act in a more conscious way towards sustainability. His attitude is that no environmental or social problem is too great to tackle. It’s this attitude that has galvanised those around him to achieve more than they thought was possible. Damon shares his positivity and confidence through his ‘collaboration with leadership’ approach, instilling the belief that all ideas are worthwhile and everyone’s contribution is important.

Prior to joining EcoMatters, Damon developed a wide array of initiatives on a national, regional and local scale. He is credited with the successful development and adoption of the Retrofit Your Home programme which has allowed 5000 Auckland homes access to funding for insulation and clean heating. On a national level, Damon successfully collaborated with Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga and Dunedin city councils, as well as with the New Zealand Green Building Council and the University of Otago to develop the rental housing Warrant of Fitness. 

Damon’s continued commitment to create change and drive sustainability as a way of life has uplifted all those around him. Since starting with the Trust he has developed a new strong, unifying and energising vision for EcoMatters. 

Damon is a finalist in the Sustainability Champion category of the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.