2020 member survey – key findings

By Fiona Stephenson

SBN member survey 2020
A huge thanks to all of you who took time to let us know what you think about SBN and sustainability issues in our 2020 member survey. We’ve listened to what you had to say and will be taking your feedback on board. Here are some of the key findings:

Top sustainability issues

The top 10 sustainability issues of greatest interest to our members are:

  • Climate change (73% of respondents)
  • Circular economy 70%
  • Waste 70%
  • Leadership 62%
  • Plastics 59%
  • Communicating sustainability 56%
  • Procurement 56%
  • Transport 52%
  • Energy 50%
  • Technology 48%

 Business sustainability maturity

Most members think their business is quite advanced in sustainability: 42% think their business is actively engaged in sustainability, and a further 33% think their organisations are shaping the future. However, less than half have completed a carbon footprint.

Biggest positive change in businesses

There was a wide variety of responses to the question: “In your organisation, what is the biggest positive change you have seen (related to sustainability)”, with encouraging signs of change. Here is a sample:

“Being able to see that sustainability is increasingly on everyone’s agenda and being able to contribute to that.”

“Greater awareness and engagement from staff.”

“Transport, we reduce our driving through cycling.”

“Reducing our waste, paying workers a living wage.”

“We have changed suppliers to more sustainable producers.”

 “The desire to do the right thing is strong at a board level.”

“Reducing single use plastic across our supply chain.”

“Video conference meetings to cut travel.”

“Cultural acceptance.”

Main obstacle preventing positive change

Two words:



Why businesses join SBN

First and foremost, you support our purpose (Empowering Business so People and Nature Prosper). The other two most valued benefits are networking and staying up to date with sustainable business news. These top three benefits are consistent year on year. Other key benefits are growing knowledge, accessing tools and advice, attracting customers, and free/discounted events.

“To be connected to a network of like-minded people and showing commitment to the vision.”

“I like the personal feel of SBN and how they offer one on one catch ups and personal small events.”

“Provision of thought leadership across range of industries through to the tactical implementation of how to actually be more sustainable in business.”

Member engagement

Most members have interacted with SBN in a number of ways over the past year. The main ways they have been involved are:

  • Read our newsletter (88% of members)
  • Been in contact with staff 85%
  • Met a new contact at event 55%
  • Attended event 53%
  • Read one of our guides 48%
  • Followed us on social media 47%

How are we doing?

Members love our events: 98% find them valuable. Nearly all members (92%) feel better informed as a result of our communications (newsletter, emails and social media), and everyone who has engaged in The Now Crowd finds it valuable. Three quarters of members would recommend SBN to others, and 80% think we are living our purpose.

How can we do better? A few suggestions included: more events in different regions of New Zealand, greater lobbying of government and more member promotion.

Thank you again to everyone who completed the survey!

Our member survey is sent to the key contact at each member organisation each year. We value your feedback year round, so if you have any suggestions or feedback please let us know by contacting our National Network Manager Dave Watson on [email protected]