Business sustainability expert to share insights with New Zealand

A trailblazer in business sustainability will visit New Zealand this month to meet with a range of companies, including Plant & Food Research, to discuss how they can show genuine leadership on the most pressing environmental and social issues facing humanity today.

Martin Rich, a former investment banker in the UK, developed the Future-Fit Business Benchmark in response to what he saw as a lack of tools for assessing the potential of any investment portfolio to cause harm to people or the planet.

The Benchmark, which is a science-based framework, is now used around the world as a way of helping businesses identify and account for shortfalls in their sustainability performance.

Plant & Food Research and AgResearch, along with several other New Zealand companies across the tourism, tech and agricultural sectors, will be co-hosting Mr Rich while he is in the country.

Plant & Food Research adopted the open access Benchmark in 2019, as part of its mission to create sustainable food systems through the science the organisation does, and the way it does it. As part of this Plant & Food Research reports transparently on its benchmark scores, which covers issues including greenhouse gas emissions, workplace policies and staff wellbeing.

In 2023, the organisation achieved the highest tier in Future-Fit certification, that of System Changer.

Plant & Food Research’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Roger Robson Williams, says science organisations have a special responsibility to show leadership in the sustainability space because they have a clear understanding of some of the unintended negative impacts on people and planet that businesses can have.

“There’s good work underway to make food systems healthier and fairer and a force for environmental good and we see the benchmark being a useful tool to accelerating this. I hope that as a result of Martin’s visit, we can grow the community of businesses that are taking authentic leadership on sustainability issues.”

Source:  Plant and Food Research

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog