Wellington: NZ’s most sustainable city?

By Andy Kenworthy

Sustainable activity is burgeoning among businesses in the capital. Is this New Zealand’s most sustainable city for businesses? Does your city measure up?

Sustainable activity is burgeoning among businesses in the capital. Is this New Zealand’s most sustainable city for businesses? Does your city measure up?

We’ve been struck by an acceleration in sustainable activity in Wellington recently. The capital is setting a high bar for other regions to follow. So we’re setting a challenge. If your city can match this hive of sustainable business activity, let us know!

Justin Lester is Mayor of Wellington City Council. He says: “Sustainable business is essential to the DNA of Wellingtonians. From the big corporates all the way down to the smallest start-ups and community projects, Wellingtonians are always looking for new ways to make a difference. Perhaps this is why we have the lowest emissions per capita among Australasian cities.”

Laurie Foon is the Sustainable Business Network’s Wellington Regional Manager. She says “I am almost overwhelmed by the mushrooming activity among our Wellington member organisations. It’s fantastic to see such a wealth of practical action on the ground in what I like to call ‘the world’s most sustainable little capital city’.”

Take a look at this hive of activity among our Wellington member businesses:

Common Unity Project will grow as much as two tonnes of food locally this year, possibly making it the biggest food grower in the region.

Commonsense Organics in Lower Hutt has started taking the excess food from Common Unity Project and selling it at its Lower Hutt store. Meanwhile, the co-founder of Commonsense, Jim Kebbell, has just turned 80 and still works for the organisation.

Misprint is seeing such rapid growth of its business making notebooks out of waste paper that it is running out of paper! If you have any A4 paper printed on one side that can be collected to be made into beautiful new stationery, please contact kareena@misprint.co.

Switched On Bikes has had such success with e-bike rentals over the summer season, that it often has its e-bike tour booked out every day.

Wellington’s Love Cycling Awards received more than 400 entries, with more than 40 entries in the ‘Most Supportive Bike Employer’ category. Congratulations to the winners of this award – Intergen (large business category) and Garage Project (small and medium business). Zealandia was a finalist for installing e-bike chargers and allowing bikes into its wildlife sanctuary.

The current national petition to make NZ streets safe for cycling is run by Wellington-based Cycling Action Network.

Kaibosh Food Rescue has just moved into a new home on Hopper Street following months of uncertainty after the 2016 earthquake. The move was made possible thanks to support from volunteers, food donors and charity partners. Find out how you can help further.

Pomegranate Kitchen is the first business set up with the purpose of employing refugees. Two other businesses are now starting to follow suit.

Z Energy and Mevo have collaborated, in partnership with EECA, to provide two plug-in hybrid cars at two Wellington Z service stations to make electric vehicle car sharing easier for city dwellers, starting today. Mevo electric car-sharing is now being used by about 1,000 registered customers across the capital.

We’re keen to hear about local sustainable business activity in other regions of New Zealand! Let us know what’s happening in your region by emailing fiona@sustainable.org.nz