Ever since the New Zealand government introduced business transparency rules, businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, have used these measures to open their doors to new opportunities. The clamor for a more transparent business operation came from investors who want to know that the companies they are backing are accountable in their response to current environmental and sustainable challenges.
SMEs Being Part of the Solution
New Zealand enacted the rules with the expectation that all businesses — whether large, medium, or small — are part of the solution to increasing social problems, such as environmental damage caused by trade. Businesses leaders in New Zealand organised themselves to create guides and roadmaps to evaluate their value chain, reduce the social and environmental impact in their supply chain, and save money at the same time. After all, there is a need for businesses to balance profitability with social responsibility.
“What we’re seeing is businesses are now regularly being held to account for their impact across the entire value chain – whether that’s in a supplier’s factory in a foreign country or how the product is disposed of once it has been used,” said the Sustainable Business Council (SBC).
“Some of the world’s biggest global brands want to be sure that their suppliers aren’t going to become a reputational risk for them. There’s a growing expectation that New Zealand businesses that are part of that global supply chain have a good understanding of their own risks and opportunities, and are acting on these.
“Our member companies – both large and small – who have worked through their value chains are seeing benefits; making them more resilient and in a number of cases identifying significant business opportunities.
Business Transparency Leads to New Opportunities
According to a research by NZ Business, sustainability transparency which are regularly disclosed in annual reports has opened new opportunities for businesses. Consumers, through the years, have increasingly been demanding products and services that come from ethical and sustainable sources, often boycotting brands and companies found to conduct unethical business practices. Also the popularity of social media which allowed consumers to easily voice out their discontent against businesses and have these opinions resonated globally have helped businesses shape up their operations.
NZ Business, citing Colmar Brunton, said nearly 75 percent of Kiwis employees feel it is important to work for a company that is socially and environmentally responsible.” Transparency in business operations have also improved the standing of New Zealand products in international markets. As New Zealand companies improve their social responsibility focusing on premium sustainably sourced products, this allowed Kiwi companies to build trust and open opportunities for them even from distant markets.
Covid-19 Response for SME Sustainability
To continue with the goal of more transparent companies, the New Zealand government in mid-May announced the $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, among other reliefs already provided. Mike Burrell, executive director of SBC, says the council looks forward to working with the Government and other businesses to ensure as much of the Covid-19 recovery package as possible is invested in future-focused projects, including zero-carbon targets.
“Like everyone, we want to see that this investment is fiscally responsible and is not wasted. The three fundamental strands that underpin this are an enduring economic recovery, broad-based growth, and accelerated progress towards zero-carbon through careful investment.”
“Collaboratively we can develop a series of projects, policies, partnerships and R&D that will ensure we kick-start the actions required for the first decade (2020-2030) on the road to zero-carbon by 2050.”
A $1.1 billion investment allocated in the Budget to create 11,000 environment jobs will support generations to come.
What Business Transparency Means to Us
Because New Zealand enterprises have shown their unwavering commitment to business transparency, this has placed the country as one of the best countries to do business with. At Slater Byrne we help foreign companies recovery debts in New Zealand using our knowledge on local business operations and domestic laws and regulations. We represent international clients, wherever you are in the world, as long as the debtor is in New Zealand.