Auckland’s Villa Maria Estate has won the Northern Sustainable Business of the Year Award at this year’s Northern Region Sustainable Business Network Awards for what the judges describe as its long-standing and pioneering commitment to sustainability.
“Villa Maria takes its role as a promoter of the ‘clean, green’ image for New Zealand in international markets seriously, and it makes it a reality through its business practices,” said one of the judges, Peta Fraser, IAG Sustainability Manager.
“Villa Maria’s commitment to sustainability over a long period is evident. It has a prudent and simple sustainability strategy in defining its ‘top ten challenges’, covering its major risks and impacts, with goals and action plans to address them. This is supported by the company’s clear decision-making process for investments and capital purchases.”
Villa Maria was the first major New Zealand winery to gain BioGro certification, achieving this milestone for its Auckland winery and bottling facility in 2007.
Villa Maria Estate’s sustainability measures include:
• Leveraging its leadership position with companies and with local and national government to strengthen recycling initiatives.
• Innovative use of video and intranet to avoid excessive staff travel.
• 30% of its wine production is organically managed and organic practices are implemented throughout its vineyards.
• Promotion of responsible use of alcohol.
The awards were presented on 4 October at Parnell Jubilee Hall. The regional winners will compete in their categories for a place in the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards on Thursday, 22 November 6pm – 9.30pm at The Cloud in Auckland.
Northern region category winners are:
Raw Essentials Small Business (Emerging) Award
• Big picture thinking on pet ownership/working towards a sustainable pet food industry both within New Zealand and also globally.
• A holistic approach to pet health and the environment (including incorporating whole-of-life costs for pet owners).
• Vision for pet food made from NZ pest species such as rabbit, hare and possum, thus reducing the dependence on toxic poisons.
• Impressive waste reduction and recycling ethos. Actively engaging with suppliers around waste.
Kokako Small Business (Trailblazer) Award
• Consistent, visible and committed approach to organics, Fair Trade and ethically sourced products.
• Very innovative and inclusive waste solutions.
• External verification of environmental and social characteristics of products.
• Outreach work that includes nature groups such as Tiri and Arc in the Park.
James & Wells Intellectual Property Medium Business (Trailblazer) Award
James & Wells Intellectual Property’s sustainability measures include:
• A social sustainability themed conference developed for Licensing Executives Society International, called “Commercialising Innovation to Save the World”.
• Strong communications with clients and staff – updating them on sustainability matters included in monthly newsletters.
• Sustainable Business Committee established to drive sustainability initiatives and thinking across the business.
• CEMARS certified carbon reduction programme in place.
• Christchurch office has become paperless with work being done to see how this can be implemented in other offices. An electronic file management system is currently being trialled.
• Transport – strong travel policy with flight booking form including a question on why the meeting is not possible to be held by video conference.
• Established relationship with Sustainable Coastlines and have a goal of staff being involved with 6 beach clean ups over 12 months.
Novotel Auckland Airport Large and Corporate Business (Emerging) Award
• Strong global governance structure with a commitment to Sustainable Development, illustrated by the launching of the Corporate Planner 21 initiative and local participation in the Earthcheck programme.
• Vision is to be the benchmark hotel for sustainability in the Asia Pacific Region.
• Ability to benchmark resource use across other Accor hotels within the region and globally.
• All job descriptions include a sustainability element. There is an online sustainability training tool that all staff are expected to complete.
• The Accor scheme “Inovaccor” provides a platform for and encourages staff-led innovation.
• Novotel has a strong corporate procurement policy. One result of this is that tuna and salmon are no longer purchased by the Hotel.
• The Hotel has seven rooms to Planet 21 standards and the Hotel as a whole has won architectural awards with sustainability being a key component of the design.
Unitec Institute of Technology Not for Profit (Trailblazer) Award
Unitec Institute of Technology’s sustainability measures include:
• Requirement of 15% sustainability content in all programmes at UNITEC with targets set for 2012 and 2013.
• First New Zealand signatory of the UN Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions.
• Approved KPI’s for energy and water use and recycling
• Formal Environmental policy has been signed off by the organisation with the majority of the operational aspects
• EECA funding acquired to establish an energy management programme with access to real time data for 90% of buildings resulting in a 5% energy reduction.
• Strong sustainability focus put on new capital expenditure such as electrical equipment and new buildings with a sustainable building guideline being developed and a commitment to achieve Greenstar 5 levels. All paper used has third party certification.