NZ's first green business list spotlights growing sector

Yesterday Interbrand released its list of the top green global brands and today, New Zealand’s first definitive rankings acknowledging companies making money improving the environment is out.

New River Green 50 listTop of the New River Green 50 list is Auckland-based Chem Recovery, which recovers and recycles heavy metals to produce 99.9 percent pure re-usable metals.

It's followed by Stonewood Homes, builder of a seven-star green building; and Reid Technology, a leader in solar power.

The New River Green 50 list was developed from research that involved interviews with multiple managers in all sectors of the economy. More than 150 companies that have a product, service or technology to improve the environment were considered, and those where this was over 50 percent of their business were eligible to make the top 50 list. They were then ranked by a mixture of revenue and growth rate.
Research company New River managing director Roger Parker said with a combined revenue of $1.1 billion, the list demonstrated the value of the green economy in New Zealand.
“In doing this research, we found that the individual companies on the Green 50 are growing at a phenomenal rate, on average 260 percent per annum. As a segment, the Green 50 grew at 15 times the speed of the New Zealand economy over the last year,” he said.
“What’s more, the most companies were in agriculture, which means there are a lot of farmers buying products, services and technologies to improve the environment, something we hear little about. It’s also encouraging to see the number and performance of larger companies that don’t necessarily make the list because improving the environment is not their core business, but are still doing lots of incredible stuff in the sustainability space and improving their performance as a result.”
Exporters made up the majority (71 percent) of companies on the list, compared with 18 percent of the New Zealand economy.

The most common area of environmental improvement was reducing pollution (52 percent of companies) followed by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (40 percent) and resource recovery (30 percent).

Wayne Cartwright, former professor of strategic management at the University of Auckland and editor of the book Strong Sustainability for New Zealand, said: “These findings should help to bring the green sector into greater prominence in terms of economic development policy, and should also help to reduce the perceptions of risk that have deterred investment in the sector and affected the credit available to companies.”

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