OUR AWARDS NIGHT – a prime example of changing times

By Shilo Zhang

A large venue lit for dinner with 620 guests seated for the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern helped present the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards last Thursday. She joined three government ministers and a host of notables celebrating sustainable business superstars from across New Zealand.

Jacinda Ardern’s appearance at the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards last Thursday was the first time in a decade that a Prime Minister has attended the event. She paid tribute to the Sustainable Business Network, its members and all our awards entrants.

“I want to acknowledge the leadership of Rachel Brown,” she said. “We wouldn’t have made the progress we have in this area without you.

“To all of you here tonight as finalists in these incredibly important awards, regardless of where you end up, my sincere and heartfelt thanks. We as a new government have an ambitious vision: that New Zealand becomes a world leader in environmental practices. We have set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. We want a world-leading emissions trading system. And we will be making sure our rivers are swimmable again.

“The 15-year Vision of SBN is to make New Zealand the model sustainable nation for the world. I want to acknowledge the role you are playing to lift New Zealand’s reputation. We want to know how we can keep doing this together, because there is so much to be done.

“Together we can turn challenges into opportunities. That is what will bring people with us.”

Climate Change Minister James Shaw added: “You are creating the future for all of us, so thank you for all that you are doing.”

Environment and Economic Development Minister David Parker was also there.

“The ethos you have is essential for overcoming our environmental challenges,” he said.  “Aligning the incentives for business is essential to what James Shaw will be working on, and it is important for me too.”

This year’s Awards had a record 234 entries. The Awards night had a record attendance of 620. Awards winners displayed outstanding innovation and commitment to tackling the most important issues of our time. At the end of the night it was NZ Post that took the Supreme Award for the NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable New Zealand.

SBN CEO Rachel Brown said: “A huge thank you to everyone who entered the Awards this year. Those who got through to the finalists stage should feel very proud of their efforts as the standard of entries was very high. Huge congratulations to all the winners. Thanks also to those who worked with us, particularly our long standing sponsors and panel of judges, to make this year’s Awards the biggest and best event yet.”

“We were really buoyed by the obvious support from the Prime Minister and her ministers. There is now a clear opportunity for SBN to help drive a step change in New Zealand’s progress towards sustainability. SBN will be pulling out all the stops to ensure that happens.”

View the full list of winners.

View photos of the winners.

View photos of the Awards night.