Network focus on sustainability action
Thursday, 10 February 2011 12:00 a.m.
The Bay of Plenty Sustainable Business Network is encouraging businesses to take practical action on the ground to improve their practices, Bay of Plenty Regional Council's Operations Monitoring and Regulation committee heard this week.
The Regional Council delivers its Sustainable Businesses Programme through sponsorship of the Network for several years, including principal sponsorship rights of the Network's annual awards, events and activities, Group Manager Technology and Economic Development Miles McConway said.
"There are some pretty good stories out there about how taking a sustainable business approach adds to the bottom line."
The sponsorship meant the Council delivered a comprehensive sustainable business programme in a cost-effective manner, engaging with sustainable business operators and other businesses that were looking to change their practices to be more sustainable. It gave the Regional Council a high profile in an important sector of the region and provided opportunities to hear from businesses about how it could support their sustainable business approaches.
Through the sponsorship the Council had been able to participate and influence seminar topics and hosted networking opportunities in each of the sub-regions.
Bay of Plenty regional award winners had taken out national awards. Other sponsored activities included a regional seminar on water, GreenDrinks Eastern Bay, the launch of Get Sustainable, an online assessment tool, Rotorua X Greendrinks and an ETS seminar.
Bay of Plenty/Waikato Sustainable Business Network regional manager Jo Wills said a growing number of businesses had recognised sustainability presented not only a more effective way of operating, contributing positively to their bottom line, but also a competitive advantage, represented by productive staff through to innovative products and a loyal values-driven customer base.
"This awareness is moving mainstream, and SBN's membership demographics are highlighting this shift ‐ larger businesses requiring more assistance and guidance to support their sustainable development."
She said Bay of Plenty membership was stable, with a current trend leaning towards larger businesses coming on board, notably Port of Tauranga, Waiariki Institute of Technology, Rotorua, Carpet Court, Tauranga and BDO Chartered Accounts and Advisors, Rotorua. Through existing cornerstone sponsorship relationships, the organisation had secured ownership of a sign written vehicle donated by Fulton Hogan.