The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is welcoming the timely release of the intelligent, thought-provoking Pure Advantage “New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race” Report. The Network supports the call for government to act now for a better tomorrow and encourages them to be bold and visionary to help lead NZ towards a stronger, brighter future.
SBN’s CEO, Rachel Brown said “We need our political leaders to be bold about a new economic model if we’re to remain a competitive nation which supports and protects our natural environment and way of life, both now and for future generations. Green Growth, Clean Tech, Sustainability Strategies, Corporate Responsibility – whatever we agree to call it – this has to be the mantra of future business. Not least because it’s what we as communities globally are demanding from businesses and political leaders,” she says.
Current issues like climate change, threatened biodiversity, and peak oil are symptoms of an unsustainable society and New Zealand isn’t performing well enough. Solutions are required now. Transformative thinking will generate the greatest advantage for our country’s economy, society and environment. By fostering business solutions and encouraging a significant investment in R&D, this transformation will see a flourishing of low carbon solutions which will create new local and global markets in a world hungry for clever ways of addressing climate change, resource use, and equity issues. New and exciting solutions will attract the right kinds of foreign direct investment and will unlock some of NZ’s own wealth too.
NZ has a natural advantage and clever people available to take up the charge, but there’s been a distinct lack of political will to protect it, lead it, and invest the much needed R&D to drive it. Pure Advantage has already pointed out that this is a huge risk given the fact that leadership and action is already evident in many other nations. The solutions are not business as usual – they require new business models and funding streams. But importantly, they can be accelerated by a brave and bold government that creates the necessary policies to support the transformation to a sustainable, green growth agenda. Apathy is not only boring, it’s dangerous.
Brown believes that the opportunities are there for the taking but it’s not going to happen with a bit of dabbling. It’s going to take serious commitment from everyone involved.
“With our natural advantage, NZ has an opportunity to be the bright green, clean, savvy model nation for others around the world. Yes it requires change but the alternative is dire. We have to shake off the apathy inherent in governments and traditional business. We should form up and talk about the opportunities identified in reports like the Pure Advantage one. This is stuff is exciting: it’s about positive futures that generations of Kiwis can get excited about. It means we have to play in other people’s sandpits and to be willing to collaborate. It means having the ability to think beyond business as usual; turning off light switches isn’t enough anymore. It might challenge the grey matter but the results will be truly worth it,” she says.