Trending Sustainability in Business

16 April 2018

Sustainability has been said to have three pillars: economic development, social development and environmental protection. A balancing act of these three elements is often what sets businesses apart, providing them with a unique, socially-focused competitive advantage.

  • UCE Sustainability Plant Top Angle

With the UCE Sustainability Challenge coming up later this week, it’s time to turn our heads towards businesses and enterprises who are actively incorporating a sustainable element into their day to day work. 

We are proud to have been a part of the development and growth of Little Yellow Bird, founded by Samantha Jones during the UCE Summer Startup Programme 2015/16. Little Yellow Bird produces sustainable, ethical and organic uniforms and apparel that do not compromise workers or the environment. In 2016, it was the 8th New Zealand Company to receive the B Corp certification, joining over 2,000 B Corp businesses worldwide. The B Corp certification is a rigorous process that ensures that businesses meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, legal accountability and public transparency, to use ‘business as a force for good’. For Samantha, this accreditation strengthens the credibility of the company and its mission. 

The Dandy Club is another sustainability focused venture supported by UCE. Founded by Jack Wood, one of the recent participants in the UCE EY Summer Startup Programme 2017/18, it is a men’s clothing company dedicated to using only the most sustainable and innovative materials. For Jack, the aim is to eliminate cotton and synthetics due to the harm they have on the planet and the people during the production. The Dandy Club is instead utilising and investigating the use of innovative materials such as milk waste, hemp and bamboo.

Beyond UCE, there are numerous innovative companies seeking to make a difference through a sustainability-focused business model. Take Ecosia for example, this Google-alternative was launched in 2009 and was the first German certified B Corporation. This simple business model captures income from advertisements and uses it to plant trees.

Inspired? We’re still taking last-minute signups for the UCE Sustainability Challenge here.

Contact

uce@canterbury.ac.nz

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