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NZ falling behind in green race, says lobby group

From Radio New Zealand Online, 11th June 2012:

New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world in the green race, a lobby group warns.

Pure Advantage was formed by corporate leaders including Sir Stephen Tindall, Rob Morrison and his late brother Lloyd, Jeremy Moon and Geoff Ross.

The group estimates global green growth is potentially worth $6 trillion a year, and creates better paying jobs, health improvements and protects the environment.

It argues a green race is coming as the world prepares for a low-carbon future driven by consumers who want more environmentally sound products and services.

Geoff Ross, chief executive of Ecoya and chairman of Moa Brewing Co., says New Zealand relies heavily on on its clean, green brand, but its track record shows the country is vulnerable.

He cites a Yale University environmental performance index which this year ranks New Zealand at 14th place worldwide, slipping from an earlier top spot.

He says Moa Brewing Co. was the one beverage brand invited to the national conference of US-based certified organic grocer Whole Foods, whose sales exceeded $US9 billion in 2010, because of New Zealand’s pure credentials. “That was our competitive advantage in that instance.”

Mr Ross says New Zealand research on technology to reduce nitrous oxide is promising, and could create wealth.

The report is the precursor to a macroeconomic review Pure Advantage has commissioned to identify New Zealand’s key, high value green growth opportunities, which is due out in the next three months.

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