Magazine article New Zealand Management

SUSTAINABILITY : Social Sustainability in the Spotlight

Magazine article New Zealand Management

SUSTAINABILITY : Social Sustainability in the Spotlight

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Brown

Quite often the word 'sustainability' brings up notions of environmental awareness and protection. Sustainability is linked to being green, but for the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) it includes integrating environmental outcomes with the financial and social dimensions of your practice. Valuing your staff and suppliers as much as your customers is vital to ensuring that your business doesn't lose vital corporate memory -- this isn't news to anyone -- but it can be overlooked by small businesses keen to be seen to be doing the right thing by the environment.

We have five offices around the country and asked our regional managers for suggestions of businesses that were doing the best thing by their staff. Jo Wills, our Bay of Plenty manager, said immediately "Try Formula One Results -- they seem to have a very inclusive environment and would have to be three of the most positive and happy people I work with as members."

Formula One is an on-demand marketing company based in Tauranga with three staff. It has helped with the marketing of many companies including Logis Information Systems, Creative Space architectural designers and Cucumber Software. Founder Chantelle Laurent says that she learned her management experience from sitting on the board of her parents' company, Shoof, followed by undertaking the I-South programme at The University of Auckland.

Laurent's approach is collective goal-setting and weekly, monthly and six-monthly reviews of goals. The small team ensures closeness -- and Laurent says she "wanted to create a workplace I would enjoy being at, somewhere we could also enjoy some relaxation". Laurent has also been honest from the start that her intention has been to make the business a marketable proposition, to either franchise the business or sell it to start another branch. "The staff regard the company as their own. The structures and systems I'm creating are all in aid of creating a successful business model," Laurent says. She is working alongside Jo Wills to undertake the Get Sustainable Challenge, so that Formula One can begin to understand the sustainability challenges her clients will be facing too. "Jo is helping us formalise our processes which is brilliant."

A Wellington-based SBN member, The Laptop Company, has instigated a programme called Project Eden which aims to value staff in the context of the environment. …

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