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Corporates vote to form new sustainability organisation

Members of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development have voted to form a new Sustainable Business Council (SBC) in association with BusinessNZ to promote sustainable business and policies.

Members of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development have voted to form a new Sustainable Business Council (SBC) in association with BusinessNZ.

Phil O’ReillyPhil O’Reilly

BusinessNZ’s Sustainable Business Forum will merge with the NZBCSD and the new body, the SBC, will begin operation on January 1 with more than 49 member companies, including some of the country’s largest, like Fonterra.

BusinessNZ chief executive Phil O’Reilly said it was an opportunity to build “a strong collective voice” on sustainability led by business.

“It makes sense for us to have one consolidated voice representing the New Zealand business community, providing businesses with leadership, best practice and advocacy in an area that is now a key issue in mainstream business all over the world."

The SBC will be chaired by Deloitte partner and sustainability leader Brett Tomkins and a transitional executive of nine people while more companies are recruited. A new executive of 12 will be elected in late February.

Tomkins said the formation of the new organisation will boost efforts to make sustainable business practices and solutions more mainstream – there are 76,000 companies associated with BusinessNZ’s four affiliated regional organisations throughout the country. 

Outgoing NZBCSD chair Bob Field said the formation of the SBC was “a great opportunity to join forces with another organisation which will greatly advance the original aspirations of our founders to mainstream sustainability in business”. 

The NZBCSD’s Vision 2050 project, which looks at the opportunities for businesses and New Zealand to survive and benefit in a country, is due to publish its report in December. 

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