Business Ethics Award

Since beginning as workplace literacy programme eight years ago, Te Whare Ako (The House of Learning) has grown to become an integral and respected part of the Norske Skog Tasman paper mill at Kawerau. Commitment from senior management has been integral to what has become case study of successful learning centre.

At the outset the company recognised that number of employees and their families had been disenchanted by their experiences in the education system, yet employees needed to operate in an increasingly intellectually demanding workplace. The challenge was to design new process that brought educational opportunities and learning to adults and that treated them with dignity and respect. Te Whare Ako has achieved this vision.

The programmes of the on-site learning centre reach into every part of the paper mill and have helped staff gain nationally recognised qualifications, supported huge shift in company culture and resulted in cost savings for the company. The National Centre for Workbase Literacy & Language, Workbase, initiated Te Whare Ako and continues to manage the centre on contract basis. Te Whare Ako offers the option of tuition and assessment in Te Reo Maori or English and recognises employees’ tribal affiliations.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS

finalists

Untouched World
For Environmentally and Socially Responsible Product

Whilst not (yet!) Top 200 company Christchurch-based Untouched World is recognised this year for its leadership in product sustainability. It has pioneered clothing design with an aim to minimising or eliminating harmful impacts upon the environment, now and in the future, while maximising development and renewal, in both people and the environment.

The company seeks to minimise the use of man-made fibres, toxic chemicals, waste materials and emissions, energy, packaging, transportation, and adverse impacts on biodiversity. Fully synthetic materials are not considered. The company’s aim is to reduce environmental impact during the life of the products. Garments are designed for reduced need for washing, and when washing is required, the ability to wash in water rather than dry clean only. The company’s vision is “Through fashion, for Untouched World to lead the way in what is possible for people and planet”. It seeks to use fashion “to shake the inherent complacency about the environment and the people on our planet”. The company produces Sustainable Development Report measuring its sustainability, identifying the challenges it faces and sharing its successes. It has achieved rapid growth. Founder and CEO Peri Drysdale is 2002 Business Woman of the Year.

Transpower New Zealand
For an Employee-Led Approach to Philanthropy

Transpower is state-owned enterprise and owner of New Zealand’s high-voltage transmission grid (the national grid), which transmits electricity throughout the country. Transpower’s Statement of Corporate Intent, includes significant commitment to being “Good Corporate Citizen”, and its Community Relations Programme features staff-driven corporate donation programme.

A company-wide poll of staff is conducted bi-annually to determine two national charities to which Transpower will make significant donation. Throughout the year staff are kept in touch with the programmes being supported and they can also help out with National Appeal Days and other fundraising activities.

Furthermore through its matching gifts programme Transpower matches staff donations to any registered charity.

Communities are built on people’s willingness to contribute their time and energy to community activities. Transpower encourages its staff to contribute in this way by providing Volunteer Day – one business day each year when they can work in voluntary capacity for community group of their choice. The Volunteer Day entitlement appears on staff pay sheets with other leave entitlements. Staff can take their Volunteer Day either individually or in team.

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