There's no doubting that when it comes to company culture, World Moving is a removal company with heart.
The Auckland and Christchurch-based firm works hard to foster a good work environment, offering, among other things, a communal breakfast for staff every morning.
"We're great believers in the staff and helping them to achieve better things in their own personal life as well as their work life," director David Williams says.
World Moving's staff appear to agree. The firm's efforts have earned it an 11 per cent rise in productivity and a Sustainable 60 award for the most sustainable workplace.
Held tonight in Auckland, the Sustainable 60 awards are in their fifth year.
Entrants competed in five categories and for three types of companies - small, medium and large.
This year, the competition, which is presented by Fairfax Media, the Sustainable Business Council and BusinessNZ, attracted nearly 60 entries from 25 companies.
It was a particularly good night for Soar Printing, which not only took the supreme award but also the titles for environment, strategy and governance and best medium-sized business.
The Auckland printing firm won the medium-sized company category in 2011.
Soar Printing's Jenny Carter said that for her company, sustainability was largely about being less wasteful.
There were many ways to do it, from reducing car use to recycling inks and helping customers avoid over-ordering print runs.
"'To us, part of sustainability is doing more with less, about being efficient and productive, so that you're not wasting resources, be they raw materials, labour, time, whatever," she said.
A common feature among this year's entries was their support for community organisations.
New Zealand Post won the community award for its extensive sponsorship and community engagement programme, and also the prize for the most sustainable big business.
Faced with declining mail volumes, it has ramped up its efficiency efforts, cutting its carbon footprint by 16 per cent and the fuel use of its courier and rural post fleets by 35 per cent.
Its senior executive team uses score cards to measure its sustainability.
The winning small business was Auckland-based Stormwater360, which installs various technologies to manage and filter stormwater.
The company's products range from catches on street drains to prevent rubbish from flowing into the sea to "living roofs", which are planted with small shrubs to filter rainwater and provide insulation.
The wellbeing of the work force was also a common concern for entrants, with at least one saying it was looking at paying a "living" wage.
Williams said World Moving did not pay the minimum wage and it also did not hire casuals, as was common in the moving industry.
"All our guys are fulltime," he said. "If we employ someone, we take them on.
"We believe it's our responsibility to look after them and give them a secure job for their own income and families and all the rest of it."
Workers were encouraged to act as leaders.
"We have an anagram for the word 'part', which is pride, attitude, respect and trust. Those are the four key words we bang on about to everyone," he said.
"So 'part' is a big part of what we do here ... And the guys actually take it on board; everybody from the office to the guys who are at the coalface."
And the breakfast? That was borne out of practicality after Williams and co-founder Raymond Dobbe, both old-timers in the removal business, saw too many of their workers stop and get a pie and a Coke on the way to work. So they provided an alternative.
"The guys actually cook it themselves. They have a cooked breakfast two or three times a week and then have cereals or porridge on the other two," Williams said.
"It's a very hard physical job that they do, so it gives them the right nutrition and energy to get through the day."
Sustainable 60 winners:
Supreme winner: Soar Printing .
Overall - Small business: Stormwater 360.
Overall - Medium business: Soar Printing.
Overall - Large business: New Zealand Post.
Strategy and governance: Soar Printing.
Workplace: World Moving.
Marketplace: Wellington Zoo.
Environment: Soar Printing.
Community: NZ Post.
Special commendation for energy management, chosen by EECA: La Nuova Apparelmaster, a Taranaki industrial laundry business.
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