Jerram: Sustainability critical
Without sustaining the resources that underpin our economy, there would be no economy, says Marlborough District Council environment committee chairman Peter Jerram.
Mr Jerram made the point to an audience of almost 300 at the Westpac Marlborough Chamber of Commerce 2012 Business Excellence Awards in Blenheim on Friday. He was presenting the environment awards sponsored by the council.
The awards dinner had been an appropriate forum to push the message of environmental sustainability, given the chamber's leaning towards economic growth rather than looking after the environment, Mr Jerram said.
"The Chamber of Commerce is more about economic growth," he said. While numerous awards encouraged environmental best practice among businesses, individual operators needed to take the responsibility on for themselves.
The council was responsible for the wise use and protection of natural resources. It had the job of ensuring that the region's air, waterways and soils were safe, in balance and accessible to all, he said.
The council sponsored the environment award to recognise businesses that were both aware of the need to protect natural resources and took active steps to achieve this.
"Everyone wants economic development; it's the cornerstone of our prosperity and societal aspirations."
However, it was important to ensure that growth was sustainable. "Without maintaining those resources which underpin the economy, there can be no economy," he said.
"I hope there will be a day when this award is unnecessary because everyone will have discovered that environmentally sustainable practices are critical to the maintenance of business."
Marlborough Chamber of Commerce president Steve Riley said Mr Jerram's comments about business development had been accurate. The chamber's purpose was set out in their charter of economic development: to promote business in Marlborough. "That's our reason for being," Mr Riley said.
The Marlborough District Council 2012 Westpac Marlborough Chamber of Commerce environment award went to Lochmara Lodge Wildlife Recovery and Arts Centre in the Queen Charlotte Sound.
NOTE: this story has been updated from the original versioin.
The Marlborough Express