Every day we receive dozens of opposing messages about the costs of business to the environment, and the cost of sustainability to business. So I wanted to make this column about getting to the truth of things, clearing up some confusion, and sharing positive stories of NZ businesses that are absolutely flourishing by taking a sustainable approach.
By roundabout way of introduction… I head up the Sustainable Business Network (SBN). Our aim has always been to help Kiwi businesses succeed through sustainability. We're not lobbyists. There are other groups in New Zealand doing great work in that area already. Instead, we're about creating change by giving the organisations we work with the tools and networking opportunities they need to thrive – within a framework that supports people and planet as much as profits.
I'm incredibly lucky to have recently been asked to take part in the global Climate Reality Project's '24 Hours of Reality'. This is a worldwide event on September 14-15 to get the word out about the reality of the climate crisis, hosted by Al Gore and 22 Presenters, across 24 Time Zones and broadcast in 13 Languages.
Which is rather ironic timing really.
Because I was also approached by a PR association to debate climate change with climate sceptic Lord Monckton (not a Lord BTW, but that's another subject) during his visit to NZ. And here's the chuckle: Monckton is being hosted by a group called the 'Climate Realists'.
Two groups with diametrically opposed philosophies using very, very similar names. You can imagine the potential confusion here. And I think that in terms of the second organisation, that's exactly the tactic. Because when people are confused, it can be comforting to cling to the status quo.
Well I for one believe the status quo is not working anymore. Climate change is real, and it's one of the greatest challenges (and opportunities!!) facing business all over the world. We've moved beyond the point of debate. Sadly, when it comes to climate change science – despite the research and statistics of 100 scientists – it often takes just one sceptic fly in the ointment to cast doubt on the facts.
So over the next few weeks, I'll be trying to bust the myths around sustainability, while talking about people who are challenging themselves to find new, more sustainable ways to do business. And succeeding.
Now just where did I put my fly swatter…?