Agenda for change

Vincent Heeringa

The launch of EcoInnovator marks an important milestone in the life of Idealog—and perhaps even New Zealand. Two years ago it felt like global warming was someone else’s problem, but the centre ground has shifted. Sustainability is now top of every company and government agenda.

As a small country, New Zealand’s centre can shift quickly. Gary Taylor, an organiser of the fourth annual Climate Change and Business Conference held in mid-August, says the shift has been nothing short of astounding. “These conferences act as a benchmark of the thinking and ‘buzz’ about sustainability. From Brisbane [last year’s host] to Auckland you can witness the change, with the prospect of the Emissions Trading Scheme, initiatives such as TZ1 and carbonneutral schemes—and for us as event organisers, the support from mainstream business organisations such as Business New Zealand and major corporations. I think that New Zealand has now edged ahead of Australia in its acceptance and desire to act on climate change.”

What’s prompted the shift? We can all point to our own moments of truth. But perhaps the key contributors have been the fourth IPCC report, the Stern Report, Al Gore’s visit and the shocking sight of an iceberg off the coast of Dunedin.

Whatever the motivation, the reality of climate change demands a response. What’s yours?

EcoInnovator is determined to seize the upside. Our agenda is simple: uncovering the innovation, entrepreneurship and ‘blue sky thinking’ that will turn this threat into an opportunity. We hope the EcoInnovator website will become home to all New Zealand business interested in sustainability.

EcoInnovator is proud to be associated with the Climate Change and Business Conference and also with Clean Billions, the investor conference organised by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development. You can read about this event on page 72.

We also acknowledge the support of our Gold Sponsors, BMW and McConnell Property, and our silver sponsors (shown at right).

Vincent Heeringa

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