New executive director for the Sustainable Business Council

Diplomat returns to his specialty area.
Mike Burrell

Mike Burrell has been appointed executive director of the Sustainable Business Council, starting in January 2020.

BusinessNZ chief executive Kirk Hope said Burrell’s senior executive experience in the public and private sectors would help maintain and grow SBC’s reputation as one of the most influential voices in the important area of sustainability.

Karen Silk, the Sustainable Business Council advisory board chair and acting general manager, Experience Hub, Westpac New Zealand, said Burrell would bring a deep understanding of environmental and social issues on a global scale as well as the unique New Zealand context. “He understands the opportunities that sustainability represents for businesses as well as the leadership role that our members play in this area.

"Mike will take up the SBC role with the organisation in very good health, thanks to the outstanding contribution of Abbie Reynolds and the whole SBC team. In its 20th year, 114 SBC members are leading change and embracing the opportunities that open up for businesses when they fully integrate care for their environment, their communities and their people into their thinking.”

Hope said Reynolds had achieved a huge amount in her three and a half years at SBC, including sharing New Zealand business achievements on the Sustainable Development Goals with the world at the UN in July, and even more recently being recognised with the Women of Influence: Board and Management award.

Burrell is New Zealand’s High Commissioner to South Africa. Before that, he was the director for sustainable economic development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade where he was responsible for leading a division of sector specialists tasked with providing expertise to implement New Zealand’s $600m aid programme. This included projects in renewable energy, climate change, Before joining Mfat, Burrell was the founding chief executive of Aquaculture NZ, focusing on sustainable growth in aquaculture and sustainable aquaculture practices. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Canterbury.

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