Yealands top sustainability winner

Awatere vineyard of Yealands Wines with Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku in the background.
Awatere vineyard of Yealands Wines with Mount Tapuae-o-Uenuku in the background.

A winery with the vision of becoming the world’s most sustainable wine producer is the Overall Large winner at this year’s Sustainable 60 Awards.

Marlborough-based Yealands Estate Wines also won the Environment category, presented at an awards event in Auckland last night.

One of Yealands’ many sustainability initiatives is an extensive composting programme which composts 60 per cent of Marlborough’s grape waste, as well as waste from the local mussel farming, wood processing, olive oil and meat processing industries.

Joint winner of the Community category and winner of the workplace section was Vodafone.

The telco’s Vodafone NZ Foundation has invested $18 million in the community, through programmes such as World of Difference which pays the salary and expenses of people to work full-time in a youth charity for a year, and its Canterbury Fund which has contributed $4 million to the Christchurch rebuild.

The other winner in the Community section was Kawakawa-based Ngati Hine Health Trust, which has built a six-star green rated early childhood centre in a design reflecting the heritage of the local iwi. The unique building has become a tourist attraction in the town.

DB Breweries won the Strategy and Governance category. The company’s Brewing a Better World programme was being adopted in areas such as supply chain and packaging, but it wanted it implemented consistently across the business. So it put in place sustainability objectives linked to annual performance agreements for all its senior managers.

Previous Sustainable 60 winner World Moving and Storage has been named the Overall Medium winner in this year’s awards.

World Moving is an exception in the removal industry in that it employs its staff full time, rather than on a casual basis which would mean they worked fewer hours in the winter. The company’s basic wage is $2 above the statutory minimum. It recruits from the local WINZ office to support employment in its community, and staff are offered budgeting and nutrition advice.

Marketplace category winner Active Refrigeration’s policy is to use natural refrigerants wherever possible, and to use refrigerants with the lowest global warming factors when it’s not. 

The Overall Small winner was Mr Box,  the Christchurch startup which has developed a reusable and recyclable system for making concrete foundations.

Awards judge and Deloitte partner Jacqueline Robertson said it was important to share stories about New Zealand companies which showed sustainable business practices went hand-in-hand with financial success.

DB Breweries stood out because in larger companies sustainability was often the domain of marketing or communications, or driven by one strong personality, she said.

‘‘It is fantastic to see a company of DB Breweries’ size start to embed sustainability goals and targets through its entire management team from procurement to sales, HR, finance and even building in a role for internal audit to provide assurance that internal sustainability information is reliable.”

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