UPFRONT Lasting tributes

When Christchurch-based City Care realised its workforce was steadily aging, it introduced an innovative apprenticeship scheme to promote the career opportunities available in its broad and largely trades-based operations.
The company, which specialises in the provision and maintenance of public amenities, employs more than 600 people across 20 different trades and offers long-term unemployed youth and school leavers year’s employment to try 18 of these before joining an apprenticeship. The combined business and wider social benefits of this initiative helped earn City Care the inaugural Sustainability Innovation Award at last month’s second annual NZ Sustainable Business Awards.
First place in the Large Business Category went to IAG New Zealand, an insurer that has taken proactive approach to climate change risks both through education and by embracing sustainable business practices internally, says Jami Williams, chief executive of awards organiser, the Sustainable Business Network (SBN).
“What stood out for judges was both IAG’s excellent use of initiatives to include and involve the entire organisation of some 2000 employees as well as the influence they have through their supply chain and now into their customer base and the community.”
Commendation in the same category went to URS New Zealand and Comvita (Bay of Plenty).
Winner in the medium business category was Wellington-based Commonsense Organics – described as “passionate company with clear long-term vision of sustainable development”. The company has developed innovative internal labelling systems and has “excellent stakeholder buy-in” to its vision.
Ohiwa Holidays in the Bay of Plenty earned its first placing in the small business category for consulting with the local community before establishing its holiday park and for its strong encouragement of environment-friendly practice.
The awards are run by SBN to recognise New Zealand business working toward economic, environmental and social sustainability and to encourage role models in the area. The by-line for this year’s awards was ‘sustainable business makes sense’, says Williams.
“Being sustainable is good for business – it’s not just passing fad.”

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