SBN: new brand, new website!

By Fiona Stephenson

After a stellar year we are thrilled to launch a new look for the Sustainable Business Network with a new logo and website. It’s the culmination of months of teamwork and we’re super proud. Check it out!

The Sustainable Business Network was founded in 2002. In that time we’ve been privileged to work with hundreds of businesses to help make New Zealand a more sustainable nation. Over the past year SBN’s membership has grown, our events are booming with almost 100 per year, and our projects are gaining traction. We’re also providing tailored sustainability advice directly to businesses. We’ve streamlined our projects to focus on the low carbon circular economy (particularly plastics) and water (Million Metres), where we can have the most impact. And more collective action is on the way!

Fiona Stephenson is SBN’s National Communications Manager. She says: “To reflect this growth and focus, we’ve worked as a team and with some of our members to define our purpose and refresh our branding. It’s involved collaboration, research, deep thinking, fine tuning and a lot of coffee to get it right. We’re excited to share the results with you today!”

Our purpose

Kickstarted by Jacqueline Farman of The Purpose Business and facilitated by SBN campaigns and communications advisor Andy Kenworthy, our team worked together through a series of workshops to reach consensus on identifying our purpose.

Andy says: “Purpose building is a fun process. The people attracted to working for and with SBN tend to have a deep personal connection to the work that we do. That provides a lot of material to work with, and a special challenge to define ourselves in a way that everyone can really get behind.”

Our purpose is:

Empowering business so people and nature prosper.

Our mission is:

Always connect. Always inspire. Build unstoppable momentum to restore Aotearoa.

Read more about our role and aim here.

Our new branding

Our old brand has served us well for many years, but our growth and renewed focus meant the time was right for a refresh. We worked with Design Dairy to create a new logo, colour palette and typography.

Fiona says: “Design Dairy have taken time to really understand our work and our members, and how we can best portray ourselves visually. Our activities are very diverse and our network ranges from corporates to social enterprises, and councils to individuals, all at different stages of their sustainability journey, so it was a challenging task”.

Jonathan Templeman is Director of Design Dairy. He says: “We’re passionate about sustainability so it was an absolute treat working with SBN, seeing them move forward and pushing into new territory. With everything we did we tried to keep in mind the work SBN has done so far, updating it but retaining the history. We wanted to convey the professionalism and established nature of SBN, and at the same time its personal nature. Underpinning everything was relationships and the network.”


The three lines of the logo represent business, people and nature – sometimes referred to as the three Ps of sustainability: ‘people, planet, profit’. They capture how we, as a network, focus on empowering business so people and nature prosper. It flows, like water, representing a movement to restoration and a low carbon, circular economy.

“We wanted to put those three strands of sustainability into a symbolic shape that was representative of a multitude of things including rivers, mountains and circularity,” says Jonathan.

“Coupled with that we wanted integrate something more personal. If you look carefully you can see the S, B and N of the acronym. It’s meant to feel organic. It is a balance between something that reflects corporates as well as individuals.

Colour palette

The colours are derived from New Zealand colours. The blues represent waterways and the atmosphere, and green represents our vast green landscapes that feed us, nourish us and protect us. It symbolises the protection and wealth of the environment.

Jessica Paul, from Maniapoto is SBN’s Membership Communicator. She explains: “If we look to New Zealand’s unique Maori culture, green represents the clothing of Papatuanuku, protecting and covering the landscape. And the red is kokowai – red ochre, the red colour Maori carvings are often painted. This colour represents people, the life-blood, the red clay from which we emerged.

“Together they represent the interconnectedness of people with nature. They represent how nature feeds us, nourishes us, protects us, and how the air and the waterways are the lifeblood for us all. The colours celebrate the diversity of our people and our unique Maori heritage.”


The new typefaces are clean and modern, representing SBN as an organisation. Jonathan says: “They are professional and business oriented but also personal and natural. As with the logo and colour palette, we wanted to acknowledge where SBN has come from, and update this with a modern look and feel,” says Jonathan.

Our website

Our new website was designed by Design Dairy and built by Mike Eastwood of Webalite. Together they have brought our new look to life in a more modern, simplified format.

Take a look! We love it and hope you do too.