Business Connector interview: Camilla Carty Melis

21 October 2014

SBN’s Business Connectors play an important role in keeping sustainability in business alive and well in our regions. We interview our Waikato Business Connector Camilla Carty Melis to find out why she thinks sustainability is important for business.

What is your day job? 

I work as a sustainability consultant at Sync Environmental, based in Hamilton. We help businesses to incorporate sustainability principles into their daily operations. We work with small and large businesses to find solutions that are relevant and interesting. Once they are engaged, we work together with them to help them create bigger changes.

Why are you interested in sustainability?

I consider myself an environmental activist: I care about nature and people. I believe that sustainability is a pathway that will lead us all forward, and that it can provide a solution to many of the social and environmental problems we face.

Why did you become a Business Connector?

I decided to take on the role of Business Connector because I want to build community and work together with members. My colleague Julia was the previous Waikato Business Connector, so I already had a good understanding of how important it is to keep people enthusiastic about sustainability at a more localised level. I’ve been going to SBN events for a while now and really enjoyed the sense of community within the network and at events. It excites me to see what we can all do together.

What does your role as a Business Connector involve?

My role involves trying to get business involved with the SBN, by garnering interest in sustainable business on the whole, and also building relationships with potential new members. This involves hosting regular events in the region and keeping people in the loop with what’s happening in the Waikato sustainability sector.

Why do you think sustainability in business is important?

Sustainability in business is important because in a world of finite resources, it would be difficult to continue indefinitely like this. Sustainability is about being responsible for your actions, from an individual and from a business perspective, but it also just makes good business sense… it’s the smart thing to do.

What role do you think NZ business has to play in transforming our economy?

Business has a key role in helping the New Zealand economy to become more sustainable. Environmental legislation has a role, too, but it is limited because if you force people to do something, it becomes a burden. If it’s a choice, the change is real and so far more effective. When a business takes the lead, it’s paving the way for others to get on board too.

If you were the Queen for the day, what would you do?

I’d get sustainability ingrained into the education system on a fundamental level. I’d like to see systems set up so that people can develop social and environmental values from a really young age. If we can encourage our youth to be making good, values-based decisions, this would mean that when they grow up, they will continue to make informed decisions. 

The next Waikato event is on Thursday 27 November at the Hamilton YWCA – where we’ll be introducing our Pathway to Sustainability resource and giving attendees an introduction to business sustainability. This will be followed by opportunities to network. Click here to register for this event.  

If you’d like to become a Business Connector in your region, please contact James Griffin, SBN’s Network General Manager. 

Update:

Camilla no longer works for Sync Environmental and operates as a sole-trading sustainability consultant and environmental educator. You can contact her at: camillasustainablefuture@gmail.com.