The circular economy is a winner

15 December 2015

With climate change progress in Paris, one of the most tangible and scalable business models for achieving significant emission reductions is the Circular Economy, which by evidence of the NZI SBN Awards  is positively burgeoning in NZ.

A circular economy is where the lifecycle of materials is maximised, usage optimised and at the end of life all materials are fully reutilised, and also crucially renewable energy is harnessed. A circular economy reduces the need for the Earth’s non-renewable resources and the associated destructions of ecosystems, captures greater value from the resources already in circulation and reduces inefficiencies and waste throughout the value chain.

Circular economy business models were very well represented at the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards, exemplifying New Zealand innovation and growing expertise in this area.

Finalists, Commendations and Winners of the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards demonstrating the circular economy in action:

Waste to value


  • Honeywrap and Kai Carrier – reusable food packaging to reduce the use of single use plastic (Finalists)

Sharing resources

  • Neighbourly – a platform for neighbours to share their resources, reducing the need for owning stuff only used a few times a year (Finalists)

End of life solutions

  • 3R Group providing product stewardship programmes for such products as child seats and Resene Paints (Commendation)
  • Creative Spaces/Auckland Council/Fletcher Construction – innovative refurbishment of a 1990s office building, finding solutions for such things as ceiling tiles and carpets while reutilising light fittings (Finalist)
  • Construction, Industrial and Demolition Resource Recovery (CIDRR) has New Zealand’s largest building waste recovery facility with around 70 per cent recovery rates for materials (Finalist)
  • Fuji Xerox product stewardship scheme that has achieved Ministry for the Environment accreditation (Finalist)
  • Abodo Wood allowing products to be returned to the earth as fuel as they do not use chemical and preservative treatments (Winner)
  • Junk Run recycling, reallocating and redirecting the waste materials it collects (Commendation)
  • Laminex recycling 88 per cent of all waste produced (Winner)


  • Wishbone Design bikes being adjustable to fit children from ages one to six eliminating the need for a new bike at every growth stage during those years (Winner)

Harnessing Renewable energy

It’s brilliant to see such circular economy progress and we hope to continue its progress as we work to Accelerate the Circular Economy in New Zealand.

If you would like to find out more about how the SBN is working on the circular economy please contact