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The Sustainable Business Network was established in 2002 in the garage of Rachel Brown’s home in Titirangi. Now based in more spacious premises in New Lynn, the organisation has offices in four other cities, and boasts 475 member companies around New Zealand. SBN provides advice and support to help businesses

succeed through becoming more sustainable, and supports its members year-round with networking opportunities, practical tools, training and sustainability assessments. SBN defines ‘Sustainable Business’ as the integration of economic growth, social equity and environmental management. A new report released by a member company is designed

to help and inspire business owners on their sustainability journey ( Author of the report, Bridget Marsh, asked 13 business leaders to talk frankly about the one or two critical success factors they had to focus on in order to build their business successfully in a sustainable way. Rachel was delighted to be asked to contribute to the report. “Keeping

Rachel Brown: helping businesses become more sustainable

the conversation going about sustainability is key to maintaining momentum. All of these businesses are prime examples of why sustainable practices make good commercial sense, and having them share their knowledge in this way means that others can be inspired and encouraged to act. Knowing that the majority of these leaders are not only SBN members, but also past finalists or winners in the SBN Awards, makes me very proud.” Among the general conclusions drawn from the survey are that businesses have to get into sustainability for the right reasons, as customers will see through false claims, and that it must be part of the vision, values and systems of a company. There are several local member companies of SBN, including State

of Grace who have become leaders in the field of natural burials with a minimum of toxicity, and Kohu Road ice cream, who have recently fitted out their new café on Portage Road with mainly reclaimed materials and have an emphasis on organically grown ingredients. For businesses interested in incorporating sustainability principles,

Rachel suggests they take the Get Sustainable Challenge. “It only takes two hours, with the management team running us through how their company operates, and then we give them a report with advice on


in 5 minutes! One upstairs end suite available for the 

With an open plan space and large back deck, it’s ready to move into and put your stamp on.

 

 PLEASE SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS – THEY SUPPORT US  AUGUST 2011 TITIRANGI TATLER 11

measuring and improving their sustainability practices, and creating a long-term sustainable business plan.” For inspiration you could also visit SBN’s office at 3067 Great North

Road, where they only turn the lights on during the day if it’s really dark, and the office bicycle sits in the foyer, available for short trips that lesser beings might make by car.


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