26 Jul 2016
By Wright Communications
That's the key finding for New Zealand in the Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand 2016 prepared by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR) and released today.
The Review analyses the views of more than 1,000 respondents from organisations with a commitment to CSR, who were asked, among other things, to nominate their top goals from the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2015-2030, launched last September.
It's the fourth year New Zealand businesses have been involved, and this year the Review drew 226 responses from New Zealand CSR managers, a fifth of the total response, and a 25 per cent increase on last year's response.
Nikki Wright, Managing Director of Wright Communications, who co-ordinated the New Zealand participation in association with the Sustainable Business Council and Massey University, says the increase in New Zealand business responses also enabled the Review to identify for the first time the Top Three CSR organisations for New Zealand in terms of awareness in the organisation of sustainability and the SDGs.
Those organisations were Z Energy, Toyota and BNZ.
Z Energy Sustainability Manager Emily Watt says her company saw attainment of the SDGs as a logical extension of Z's sustainability strategy. "We see the Goals guiding us as to what we should be focusing on."
Nikki Wright says top priority for the next year among New Zealand participants was the building of stronger relationships with stakeholders, and the kiwi companies also rated Stakeholder Engagement as their strongest management capability. "What that highlighted to us was the importance of communication on sustainability issues and the SDGs, and the very good progress kiwi businesses are making in that area."
The Review also showed that overall awareness of the SDGs was high at 85 per cent and the Goals are already being incorporated into many organisations' strategic planning and activities, a finding that delighted SBC Executive Director Abbie Reynolds. "That was very welcome news and a big lift on previous years that shows kiwi companies are striding ahead."
Z's Emily Watt says a key focus for her organisation was to work with other stakeholders to influence change. "We ask the communities what their priorities are for our investment programmes, we ask our stakeholders what they want to measure us against, and we ask our customers what is important to them. Their responses inform our whole sustainability programme."
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