ADVICE – How to plug in to sustainable business near you

31 January 2017

SBN connects sustainable business experts all over the country. Tap into your local network to get advice and support.

SBN has its headquarters in Auckland and dedicated staff in Wellington and Tauranga. But it also has Business Connectors at strategic locations around the country. These business professionals volunteer their time to SBN as part of their own work. They are a handy source of advice and support on all aspects of business sustainability. They are a great way to plug you in to the SBN network and get the most out of it. Each one also adds their own unique skills and interests into the mix. They are also on top of the current hot topics for business in their regions.

SBN Business Connectors

Hamilton

Camilla Carty-Mellis is a sustainability consultant and environmental educator.

“I enjoy volunteering for SBN because it lets me meet lots of people, share ideas, learn and teach,” she says. “I particularly enjoy organising events and getting the Waikato business community engaged in environmental and social issues.”

Camilla is currently creating a series of electronic workshops for businesses interested in sustainability issues. It is based on a workshop series she ran last year in partnership with the Waikato Environment Centre.

Contact: sustainablefuture@envirocentre.org.nz

Hawkes Bay

Adele Rose is chief executive of 3R Group. 3R develops programmes to recycle, repurpose or responsibly dispose of used products and packaging. She is bringing interested local businesses together, initially centred around how local businesses can get behind SBN’s Million Metres project.

Contact: adele@3r.co.nz

Taranaki

Samantha Mortensen is an ecologist who has worked as environmental advisor in the energy industry. She is setting up a social enterprise called ecohesion with Jen Harries. Jen also volunteers for SBN as a Business Connector. Together they are working on setting up a local forum for sustainable businesses to collaborate on these issues.

Contact: samanthamortensennz@gmail.com and jenharries78@gmail.com

Whanganui

Duncan Sinclair is the founding partner of Black Pine Architects. He has construction experience in NZ and overseas. His architecture expertise includes specialist healthcare, Passivhaus and ‘alternative’ material use.

“I like the values and goals of the SBN,” he says. “It’s well organised, it’s NZ-based and suits smaller businesses. I was looking for a business support organisation to join that was business focused, with sustainability at its core.”

Duncan MCs his local Green Drinks each month. He is currently connecting with the local Chamber of Commerce to investigate more co-operation in the area.

Contact: duncan@blackpine.co.nz

Christchurch

Rachel Teen has worked in media, recruitment, telecoms and hospitality. Following completion of an MBA, she now works as a consultant and not-for-profit board member. She is currently studying a PostGradDip in Environmental Management at Lincoln University. She also works part-time in riparian restoration particularly with farmers. These projects are similar to those SBN supports through its Million Metres project.

“The energy and innovation of businesses involved in SBN is infectious. People who think outside of the square really inspire me. I see business and industry as having a major role to play in moving our world towards a more sustainable way of living. So being a tiny cog in this wheel of introductions and connections is really satisfying.”

Canterbury SBN collaborates with Green Drinks Christchurch. The two organisations get together every three months to socialise, share ideas and inspire each other.

Contact: rachelteen@icloud.com

Dunedin

Dr Niki Bould is a researcher, educator and sustainability advisor for Ahika Consulting. Ahika runs ‘Learning from Leaders’, a bi-monthly event showcasing local sustainability champions.

Niki’s PhD thesis explored the obstacles and opportunities for educators and businesses incorporating sustainable practice.

She says: “We need to work collaboratively to make the kind of transformational change Ahika and SBN want to see in the world and in New Zealand.

Contact: niki.bould@gmail.com

Would you like to volunteer as a hub for sustainable business activities in your region? Contact james@sustainable.org.nz