Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined the Sustainable Business Awards.

Community Finance is the supreme award winner at the Sustainable Business Awards 2021, first winning the Outstanding Collaboration category and then nudging out finalists Chia Sisters and All Good to win the supreme award.

Kiwis are finding themselves increasingly locked out of the housing market with housing unaffordability continuing to increase.  Community Finance breaks through the complex barriers to build desperately needed houses. Community Finance is a collaboration between philanthropic foundations, financial institutions, community housing providers and the Ministry of Housing. The model involves socially good investors financing community housing partners at affordable rates to build new, energy-efficient and affordable homes for Kiwis.

Working with community housing partners, Community Finance has created the first social impact bond in Aotearoa New Zealand, a form of investment that contributes to better social outcomes.

The Salvation Army Community Bond raised $40m to build 118 apartments and houses over three locations during the Covid crisis. These have housed 150 adults and 59 children. All homes are built to a minimum of NZ Green Building Council Homestar 7 rating.

Community Finance has taken bold strides and issued the Aotearoa Pledge with an enterprising vision to raise $100 million in 2021. It was established to bring transformational change for the community and those in need. As of May 2021, it secured $71m from investors including ANZ, Forsyth Barr, Generate, Pathfinder, Simplicity and The Clare Foundation. This will support a build-to-own programme in partnership with the community housing sector.

Rachel Brown, CEO Sustainable Business Network, which hosts and operates the Awards said “collaboration across sectors is absolutely essential in solving systemic failures like the housing crisis Aotearoa faces. It is fantastic to see this working so effectively and with such great buy-in from visionary partners. This will lead to long term change and inspire others too”.

Altogether there were 10 winners and seven commendations for purpose-led businesses, producing products and services that inspire positive choices and create a better future. 

Supreme award finalist Chia Sisters is collaborating to reduce tonnes of carbon emissions in the Nelson area and is using an industry-led model that could be a blueprint for Aotearoa New Zealand to follow. Supreme finalist All Good has supported the building of a full-service medical centre in Ecuador through its long-term commitment to Fairtrade bananas. Kiwis lap up All Good Fairtrade bananas at a rate of 400,000 bunches per month.

Chris Morrison, Simon Coley and Matt Morrison from All Good.

Brown says “We are confronted daily with the impacts of Covid and climate change. The businesses winning sustainability awards tonight have not only recognised that the future of business requires different skills and a strategic sustainable lens, but they have also developed skills to meet these challenges that also sees them serving their communities”.

This year’s Sustainability Superstar, a coveted award for an individual’s work, went to Camden Howitt from multi-award-winning Sustainable Coastlines.  Howitt’s dedication and skills make a difference to communities, government policy and our environment every day.

Sustainable Business Awards 2021


CategoryWinner & Commendations
Sustainability Superstar Sponsored by NZI  Winner: Camden Howitt, Sustainable Coastlines Commendation: Charmaine Bailie, Kaipatiki Project
Communicating for Impact Sponsored by Kind&Co  Winner: Businesses for Climate Action Commendation: NZ Panels Group
Change Maker Sponsored by Environmental Protection Authority  Winner: Sophia Olo-Whaanga, Dempsey Wood Civil
Outstanding Collaboration Sponsored by Toitū Envirocare  Winner: Community Finance Commendation: Piritahi
Going Circular Sponsored by Auckland Council  Winner: Citizen Commendation: Maggie Marilyn  
Climate Action Innovator Sponsored by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency  Winner: CoGo 
Climate Action Leader Sponsored by EECA  Winner: Chia Sisters Commendation: New Zealand Post
Good Food Sponsored by New World  Winner: All Good
Restoring Nature Sponsored by Department of Conservation  Winner: Tahi Estate Commendation: HealthPost
Social Impactor Sponsored by MAS  Winner: Gap Filler Commendation: Fair Food New Zealand
Supreme Award – Transforming NZ Award  Winner: Community Finance Finalists: All Good Chia Sisters

All Good – winner of Good Food Award

All Good Bananas believes in providing New Zealanders with ethically-sourced food that helps others. The business started in 2010. It now imports and sells more than 400,000 bunches of bananas per month and distributes to the Foodstuffs network and independent retailers.

Its Fairtrade and zero carbon bananas give New Zealanders a tangible way of supporting  action on climate change and social injustice. Bananas are New Zealand’s most commonly bought grocery item, and All Good Bananas says it’s imperative that consumers are given an ethical choice. Presenting such an option motivates other brands to do better.

Eleven years ago All Good made a long-term commitment to a Fairtrade co-operative in Ecuador called ‘El Guabo Association of Small Banana Producers’. With All Good’s support, El Guabo has built a full-service medical centre providing health checks, emergency response and pharmaceutical support and an institution to support women and girls who have been sexually and physically abused in their homes. All Good also supports 30 schools in Ecuador through its partnership with El Guabo.

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