Do One Thing: six top commitments from the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards

8 December 2015

At the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards on 24 November we asked everyone attending to commit to doing one thing that would help lead to a more sustainable future. We’ve compiled our top six commitments.

1. Morphum Environmental Ltd: ‘To provide a $22,000 First Foundation Scholarship 2016 for an environmental engineering student’.

Dean Watts, Director, says: Morphum has always had a strong focus on mentoring young people and helping them to meet their career potential in the environmental engineering and science fields. 

Through our work we have noticed that disadvantaged youth often have a lot to offer their local communities.   Exposure to a small but steadily growing organisation such as Morphum will enable the recipient of our environmental engineering scholarship to be involved in a range of projects that will enhance their real world experience and give them the ability to take real action to improve the environmental and social outcomes for the communities they come from. At the same time the recipient will benefit from attaining a career and a pathway to a good income.

As a business that strives to be a responsible member of society, we see this scholarship as a way we can help to break the cycle of poverty and empower young people to give back to their communities at the same time

2. Taupo Beef: ‘We will make available the entire commercial, scientific and policy learnings from the Taupo Beef project to other farmers/food producers around New Zealand/Aotearoa’.

Mike and Sharon Barton say: We will start with four trial river catchments that cover the main ‘water quality contaminant issues’ that New Zealand faces, the intention being to then make the refined process available to all catchments throughout the country. This will work alongside the Government’s roll out of the ‘National Policy Framework’ on Freshwater Management.

We have formalised this process under the working title “Food, Farms and Freshwater”

Taupo Beef is the winner of the NZI Greatest Contribution to a Sustainable NZ Award, the supreme award from the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards.

3. Watercare: ‘Sign an agreement with EECA to improve our energy efficiency’.

Roseline Klein, Sustainability Manager, says: It was very inspirational to see EECA Business present the achievements of major New Zealand companies in terms of energy efficiency at the Awards. Watercare strives for energy efficiency and there is a lot more we could do. Sometimes you need people like the EECA team to help you get the project across the line, get more expertise around the table and work with you to achieve the best possible results. They have a fantastic team dedicated to helping businesses become more efficient, I would highly recommend working with them! Signing an agreement with EECA means that Watercare commits to an energy efficiency target and this mandate comes from the very top of the organisation.

4. Rod Oram: ‘Buy a Leaf via Blue Cars’

Rod Oram, business journalist, says: Carl Barlev at Blue Cars is giving us excellent advice on buying a used Leaf. As the first high-ish volume electric vehicle, it will be great value. The fuel savings are dramatic. Back in 2007, my wife and I both had V6s. We bought about 2,800 litres of petrol for about 24,000 km of driving that year. We’ve had more fuel efficient cars since then. Next year, though, we take the ultimate step. We’ll drive about 20,000 km with my plug-in Prius using about 200 litres for 10,000 km and the Leaf zero petrol for a similar distance. That will work out at a 93% reduction in our household petrol consumption since 2007.

5. The Smart Hot Water Company: ‘Run a trial of our technology in social housing to prove the benefits and savings available to those who need them most’.

Brian Knolls, CEO, says: Maintaining a hot water cylinder imposes a real cost on households. We believe  this is a cost that can be managed through the use of smart technology. It is wasteful to heat water that may not be required. Many households do not need 180 litres of hot water in a single day and yet that is what they are paying to heat. If significant numbers of New Zealand homes heated only the water they required, the load on the national electricity generation network would decrease appreciably.  And what that means is less reliance on non-renewable electricity generating capacity during the daily peak periods. Our environment benefits and so also householders in terms of lowered energy costs. We want to see households with tight budgets benefit from lower electricity bills and we believe we have the technology to make that happen.

6. DB Breweries: ‘Team up with the Million Metres Streams Project on World Water Day ’16 to clean up waterways around our breweries across New Zealand’.

Simon Smith, corporate relations advisor, says: At DB water is a crucial resource throughout our entire value chain, as well as being the most significant ingredient by volume in our beers and ciders. While New Zealand is not currently a water stressed nation, we place huge importance on ensuring our local community’s water resources and ecosystems are not depleted in quality or quantity, both today and in the future. DB is committed to protecting water resources both around our brewery sites and across the New Zealand. This is both supported by our employees and driven through our DB Brewing a Better World sustainability strategy.

There’s still time to add your own commitment to our compilation – to do so either tweet it to us @sustbusiness with the hashtag #SBNawards or email us at We’ll be following up next year to check out the progress of the commitments.