Embracing sustainability, transforming business
What does a winery, a university, nappies, a butchery, an advocate of clean coastlines, a trash converter and a national bank have in common? They are a small selection of recognised leaders and innovators representing a growing number of New Zealand businesses and individuals who have proven that sustainablility can be at the core of a profitable, successful enterprise. 
When asked, a significant number of businesses state that they have a genuine desire to embrace sustainability as a core value, yet many are discouraged by a perception that the required commitment and change in a culture are too costly and time prohibitive.
The NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards are testimony to the fact that this is not the case and, more often than not, a positive impact on the bottom line can be achieved.
The awards have grown from humble beginnings ten years ago and this year attracted a record number of entries, proving that sustainability within businesses and the community is increasingly important and certainly achievable.
The theme of this year's awards was 'Transformational Change' and the overall supreme winner of this award, demonstrating the greatest contribution, was Kiwibank/Nga Tanagata Microfinance Trust with it's zero interest rate initiative on small loans to families and individuals who would normally find it difficult to borrow money from a bank.
No awards evening is complete without the opportunity to celebrate and network, and the venue at the Auckland Museum, also a category finalist, proved to be most fitting - affording fantastic views over Auckland City and the Waitemata Harbour as guests enjoyed nibbles (in bio-degradable containers), refreshments and great wine (compliments of Yealands Estate Wines, another category finalist and winner).
The most refreshing comment of the evening was made by Sam Judd, winner of the Communicating Sustainability Award - who said “Just get out there and do it!”
For a full list of winners go to:
By Yvonne Carter, co-publisher of NZBusiness magazine, who attended the awards evening.
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