Friday, July 17, 2009

More Taxpayer-Funded Greenwash

You may be aware of the government’s “Envirostep” program that was launched this week.

This program would appear to fall firmly into the the category of the “hug a polar bear” variety that the Key government has previously rallied against.

An agenda of social and environmental responsibility is again being pushed under the mantra of business improvement. **We’re from the government and are here to help you**

The common thread of such programs is that they are either provided "Free" like this one or are forced on businesses like Qualmark's Responsible Environmental criteria for accommodation providers. The purveyors of these programs have realised that businesses are able to quickly assess such schemes based on cost benefits and ROI and would not voluntarily take part if it means coughing up hard earned funds for little gain.

It is disappointing that Business NZ, Chamber of Commerce et al are blindly pushing this childish waffle without asking some hard questions.

How much is this costing the NZ taxpayer?

If this program is so good then why isn’t it being offered for purchase in the private sector?

And wouldn’t it be more beneficial for businesses if the tax to fund this twaddle wasn’t taken from them in the first place?!?

The Ministry for Economic Development Media Release
15 July 2009
Environment tool for business to help grow profits

New environment tool for business should help grow firms'appeal and profits

Small to medium sized businesses which use a new environmental management tool being launched by the Government this afternoon should grow market share.

The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development says the new Envirostep online tool, which will help firms measure, manage and communicate their environmental performance, will be welcomed by busy SME managers–and their customers.
"This is a great initiative, along with the use of channels like Business New Zealand to get the tool in front of business owners,"Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson says.

Earlier national polling and focus group research conducted by the Business Council shows 32% of New Zealanders will switch to buying products from price-competitive firms doing the right thing for the environment and society.

"Small businesses owners also told us they were too busy getting their product out the door and dealing with the tax man. If they were going to do anything about being environmentally friendly the Government and customers would have to demand it–and it would need to be simple.

"This new tool takes that advice,"Mr Neilson says."On top of customer preferences for environmentally friendly practices, which businesses using this tool can demonstrate, there's also a trend to sustainable procurement in Government and by larger businesses.

"Increasingly, that means SMEs need to compete on the whole of life cost of their products and services, including environmental impacts. Billions in contracts will be increasingly affected by this,"Mr Neilson says.
Already nearly 75% of Business Council member companies–whose annual sales equate to about 43% of gross domestic product in dollars terms–are including, or planning to include, social and environmental criteria in supplier terms and conditions. Some 58% have already deselected suppliers for ethnical or environmental reasons. Sustainable procurement is also spreading through centralᾠand local government, and is delivering 8% to 50% efficiency improvements.

"The Ministry for Economic Development's launch of this new tool is just what's needed to help the vast SME sector quickly get to grips with - and profit from - better managing its environmental impact,"Mr Neilson says.
"It would help if Envirostep were now also heavily advertised and promoted so companies know about it–and consumers can tell which firms are doing their bit for the environment."

Envirostep is at
Source: Click HERE

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