2021 – Sustainable Business: Wake-up call

The Prime Minister has spoken: Failing to adapt to climate change is not an option for her Labour Government; neither is it an option for business.

In the Herald’s 2021 Sustainable Business report, Jacinda Ardern presents climate action s an economic opportunity that New Zealand must seize.

Ardern shares her Government’s thinking as it prepares its formal response to the Climate Change Commission’s recent recommendations on a pathway towards New Zealand meeting its international obligations to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions profile. There are clear messages in this for business.

Minister for Climate Change James Shaw underscores that this major economic transition to a low-carbon future must be a just one that helps unwind existing patterns of inequality.

As New Zealand journalist Alastair Thompson reports from France the floods which have been devastating Germany and Belgium have added new urgency to push for the United Nations’ upcoming COP26 meeting in Glasgow to achieve results.

This Herald report is produced in collaboration with the Aotearoa Circle. This is a unique partnership of public and private sector leaders who are unified and committed to the pursuit of sustainable prosperity.

Two previous Herald Business reports in 2019 and 2020 reported on the role that sustainable finance plays in incentivising business to make changes to lower emissions and improve social wellbeing, and the development of a Roadmap for Action on this score.

Last night, the Aotearoa Circle launched the NZ Centre for Sustainable Finance in Auckland. The two current co-chairs of the Sustainable Finance Forum, Bridget Coates and Ross Pennington, outlined their ambitions for the centre in an interview with Graham Skellern. The centre is another feather in the cap for the Aotearoa Circle’s Vicki Watson.

Leading bankers like Westpac’s Karen Silk, who also chairs the NZ Sustainable Business Council, HSBC’s Burcu Senel, ANZ’s Dean Spicer, Rabobank’s Todd Charteris, BNZ’s Dean Schmidt and ASB’s Nigel Annett share how the application of sustainable finance principles to lending is changing the game for business.

These principles are also being applied by the NZ Super Fund as Del Hart explains. Also too, by the NZ Green Investment Fund’s Craig Weise.

Kāinga Ora’s Matthew Needham and Alec Tang talk about how the Crown Agency —NZ’s biggest issuer of sustainable bonds —is incentivising construction firms to build warmer homes.

Fonterra’s Miles Hurrell explains the dairy cooperative’s approach as it works to meet the needs of increasingly sustainability-focused customers.

This is where principles hit the coal-face of international trade.

Enjoy the report.

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