Waitakere City Council bags award on first day of supercity
Waitakere City Council raced to the finish line with grace bagging the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants award for its sustainability report on the first day of the supercity.
New Zealand Sustainability Reporting Awards, held by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), was the first stand-alone awards for New Zealand following 10 years of a joint Australia/New Zealand judging process.
Its aim was to recognise excellence in sustainability reporting incorporating environmental and social impacts. Judges were looking for transparency, credibility and evidence of integration of sustainability issues within the business processes and strategy.
The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development business consultant Lyn Mayes, who was one of the judges, said Waitakere City Council’s report was of a world class standard.
“If Auckland is to adopt the best practices from across its region, we strongly recommend to its leaders the reporting practices established by Waitakere City.”
This year 20 entities submitted their annual reports to the panel of nine judges. Apart from local government, these included organisations representing: industry; utilities; goods and services; transport and the financial sector.
Waitakere City Council corporate sustainability manager Michelle Dawson said the council worked hard to create an integrated report that told stories of local residents.
“It’s not just a numbers report; it’s a report that tells a story about eco city and what we’ve done over the last year towards sustainability.
“Anybody can put facts and figures in a report but if you can humanise it and tell the story then people can relate to it.”
Associate Professor at Waikato University and fellow judge Dr Martin Kelly said many companies have sustainability as an “add on” in their reports.
“What I liked about the Waitakere report is that it was full of sustainability; it wasn’t something that was done after the financial report was put together.”
He said annual reports were judged based on all aspects including companies’ financial management.
“It’s got to be about the numbers – you cannot run any business or any organisation unless you do it in a financially sound way – that’s part of sustainability. And Waitakere didn’t ignore that part at all, but so much more came through.
“[The report] the whole time was talking about matters that counted for the people of Waitakere.”
Watercare Services was a runner up for Best Report, while Contact Energy pocketed the Best New Zealand Stock Exchange Top-50 listed company and Christchurch International Airport the Best SME Sector award.
ASB was named The Best First-Time Reporter recognised for its substantial coverage of its New Zealand business.