Sustainability in culture and conversation is growing quickly, and Kiwis are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of living a more sustainable lifestyle. There are fewer climate-change sceptics, and a growing sense of personal and collective responsibility for protecting our planet; for ourselves, but also for generations to come. It has been wonderful to see businesses becoming increasingly aware of their environmental impact and implementing changes to operate more sustainably.
Clearly, managing the sustainability of an entire organisation is a complicated and difficult project. That is is why many Kiwi businesses are turning to experts to help them move forward. Go Well Consulting is doing fantastic work promoting sustainability in Kiwi businesses. They understand that businesses need access to expert help and guidance to facilitate the transition to better business practices. Their team have worked with Kokako (one of Auckland’s best coffee roasteries) and Mt Eden design company Citta, and have helped to manage the ‘Bags Not’ campaign for Foodstuffs with advertising agency BCG2.
We love their mission statement:
“To normalise sustainability in New Zealand and help lead and influence the shift to a circular, regenerative, inclusive economy while highlighting the huge economic, social, and environmental opportunities in doing so.
To make the concepts and values of sustainability and circularity more accessible and more understandable for New Zealand businesses and everyday Kiwis.
To make New Zealanders more mindful of the impacts of their business and consumer behaviours on other human beings and the natural world.”
We recently spoke to the founder of Go Well, Nick Morrison. Here’s what he had to say:
What is your background?
Nick: I have a degree in sports science and worked in the fitness industry for 10 years before joining a compostable packaging company five years ago on my return from living overseas. This proved to be my doorway into sustainability. I left there in 2017 to start Go Well.
Why do you do this? What drives you?
Nick: Through my previous career and travelling I have experienced first-hand the massive social inequalities and environmental destruction that exists on our only planet. I want to be able to look back on my working life knowing I used my time, skills, and privilege to do all I could to help solve these huge problems, and leave the world better than I found it.
How is New Zealand doing compared to the rest of the world?
Nick: Good and bad. Our electricity generation is around 80-85% renewable which is significantly better than most countries and our food producers have some of the smallest environmental impacts when compared globally in their markets. We also have an incredible culture of problem solving and resourcefulness that produces a flood of ideas to solve our problems.
Due to our relatively small and dispersed population a lot of these ideas and solutions struggle to scale. On-shore recycling is one such example, meaning a lot of the materials we use to run our economy end up in holes in the ground, and are completely wasted. It’s also proving really difficult to get Kiwis out of their combustion engine cars!
What is the most common improvement your clients can make?
Nick: Talking about and communicating sustainability accurately, transparently, and authentically.
If you had one tip for Kiwi businesses, what would it be?
Nick: Make sure you deeply understand all of the social and environmental impacts of your business operations (current state) and work out what your desired state is (dream big). Then create a strategy that will guide your journey and help you focus your attention and resources.
What do you see for the future of business sustainability in New Zealand?
Nick: A world leading economy that functions in harmony with the laws of nature (the real world), is circular by design, and has a regenerative impact on our environment and communities.
Who is a company making big inroads in this space we could learn from?
Nick: I think EcoStore has been doing an incredible job within their industry for some time and they continue to look for ways to be better.
What is a sustainability trend taking off?
Nick: Plant-based milks
If you had one tip for everyday New Zealanders, what would it be?
Nick: Buy second hand
We think Nick and his team at Go Well are doing wonderful work, and we can’t wait to see their continued success. I especially like their blog post Sustainability 101 – Creating the Culture, a quick and easy read on the importance of fostering a culture of sustainability. Check out their website for some more information about them and what they do.
Nick Morrison, founder of Go Well