Kirsty Quickfall finds promise for Nelson Tasman in its successes with sustainable business.
Last week The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) announced the finalists for the 2012 NZI National SBN Awards and two came from the Nelson Tasman region.
I see this as reflecting the sustainable direction the region is taking.
Kaimira Estate Wines (Brightwater), who won the Small Trailblazer Business category and went on to win the Central/Southern region overall Sustainable Business Award, and Stone Arrow Jewellery, who won the Small Emerging Business category, will be up against 15 other category regional winners at the SBN National Awards being held at The Cloud on Auckland's waterfront on November 22.
SBN chief executive Rachel Brown said the awards recognise and celebrate the efforts of businesses and individuals where they have demonstrated value across environmental, social and economic indicators.
"The awards support savvy organisations that are reshaping their business models for a more sustainable future," she said.
"These organisations range from those just beginning on their journey to those who are creating new ways of generating profit, for example through redesigning their products and services, and others who are utilising profits to create restorative business practices throughout their operations."
The success of Stone Arrow, who took more than a little persuasion to enter the awards, has me feeling particularly chuffed. It went against company founder Nick Feint's core values in some way, however I'm one for celebrating success and to be honest, he is one of my favourite jewellery designers.
A prerequisite to entering the awards was to take SBN's Get Sustainable Challenge. This involved me visiting and auditing the business. It is a lengthy task, very detailed and covers a multitude of attributes that are recognised as integral to becoming a sustainable business.
What struck me is that on the one hand you have this stunning, hand crafted piece of jewellery, which you can order globally and which my mother wears when she is on one of her fancy smancy cruises, and on the other, you have this mix match of small dwellings, house truck and other "building" bits and bobs, really in the middle of nowhere, which is heated by a log burner, has its own sewage system and is surrounded by bush and sea. One does not seem to equate to the other.
Following the regional accolade Nick was asked to make a video of his business. Ranked highest by judges in its grouping, Stone Arrow is now also in the running for the Vodafone People's Choice Award. To watch the video or vote for Stone Arrow visit sustainableawards.org.nz/2012/peoples-choice-award.
The Stone Arrow studio is in Wainui Bay in Golden Bay, and is holding The World's first Carbon-Wino neutral Gallery opening on November 16 at 5.30pm. "All the refreshment bottles consumed will be transformed into beautiful pieces of jewellery," explains Nick. "We have searched the net extensively and believe we are the only ones in the world working with this medium to such a high standard.
"We have invented a range of techniques to transform standard bottle glass into something extraordinary. Our mission is to produce a range of designs so harmonious that people choose to wear them on style alone.
"The fact that they are constructed from a reused material is a bonus, not a gimmick."
Add Stone Arrow to your Christmas shopping list. stonearrow.co.nz
Kirsty Quickfall is the communications and development manager at the Nelson Environment Centre, which contributes Going Green every fortnight. Previously, she managed the SBN South Island members for 4½ years.