The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is pulling together a bunch of brilliant and diverse experts
to discuss the benefits of ‘shared value’ at its ‘Creating Sustainable Wealth: The Collective Challenge’
forum, in Auckland, on 29th March 2012.
The concept of ‘shared value’ was first defined a little over 12 months, when Michael E. Porter and
Mark R. Kramer published ‘Creating Shared Value’ in the Harvard Business Review.
“It caused a bit of excitement amongst those interested in how business can gain and articulate
business value alongside environmental or social value”, says Rachel Brown, SBN’s CEO. “It’s not
really a new concept but just a rather clever strategy for delivery to it.”
The academic definition goes something like this ‘the concept of shared value relates to policies and
operating practices that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing
the economic and social conditions in the communities in which it operates.’ SBN is interested in
understanding how the concept can be played out practically in NZ business and alongside the work
of community organisations which is why the March Forum came into being.
“The interactive SBN forum brings NGO’s, funders, as well as large and small businesses together to
examine this shift in sustainability thinking and to see what can be achieved by creating shared value
through SBN’s networks”, says James Griffin, SBN’s National Network Manager.
Nick Jones, Research and Insights Manager at IAG New Zealand, is one of the Forum’s organising
panel – he has this to say.
“Lots of businesses are waking up to the fact that many of the issues they face are too complex for
them to solve on their own. Consequently they’re looking to work in partnerships with community
organisations that can help them deal with these issues and deliver value for them and the
community they serve.”
Business journalist, Rod Oram, will facilitate the forum while Jonathan Watts, author of When a
Billion Chinese Jump, will undertake the keynote speaker role. They will be supported by the
experience of business and social leaders sharing their insights. Using examples from Ngati Whatua,
Solar City, The Big Stretch, Chow Hill and CityHop, as well as IAG’s links with stakeholders and the
opportunities around co-creation in sectors of mutual interest, the forum will attempt to establish
how a business can generate profitable returns while addressing personal values and desires for
better social and environmental outcomes.
Over the course of one day, participants will focus on the examples of some interesting industry-
shaping business who can provide valuable learning for those organisations striving to succeed in
increasingly volatile markets.
Rachel Brown is intrigued by the prospect of how a room filled with smart people who all share
some common ideas will be shaped by understanding the potential value in working across our
traditional sectors – and the impact of hearing from leaders in business and community.
“We’re delighted to have some of NZ’s leading business and community thinkers, practitioners and
facilitators participating throughout the day. Add into the mix valuable audience participation and
we’re gearing up for the key sustainable development event of the year,” she says.
People can register to attend the forum by visiting http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2012/creating-
sustainable-wealth-doing-it-together/auckland. The full programme can be accessed on www.sustainable.org.nz.
SBN is delighted to welcome Paramount Services as the principal sponsor of the Forum and
University of Waikato Management School as an additional sponsor.
About the Sustainable Business Network (SBN)
Nationally, the SBN represents more than 550 organisations, from small to medium enterprises and
not-for-profits, through to large businesses and corporations. SBN promotes sustainable business
practice through networking, practical advice, and resource and tool development. It provides
opportunities for businesses to do, learn, share and create in order to advance and embed
sustainability. SBN runs the Get Sustainable Challenge, the GreenFleet programme (including tree-
planting offsets via Carbon4Good), and hosts the annual SBN Awards. SBN has also developed the
online assessment tool Get Sust Online and offers expert advice through Adviceline.
For further information please contact
National Communications Manager – Sustainable Business Network
Phone: 021 686443; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org