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No 45 AUTUMN 2018

PEOPLE PLANET PROFIT Why sustainability makes good business sense

ON A MISSION Mission Estate Winery's sustainability journey

MAKE THE SWITCH The tax considerations for an EV fleet


DAIRY TRUST The science behind sustainability in farming

A financial and social return


Interview with the Sustainable Business Network's CEO

How to manage and embrace uncertainty

2016 Network of the Year BAKER TILLY INTERNATIONAL


David Searle

(09) 373 1128


David Heald

(07) 834 6801


Chris Downey (07) 578 2989


Dave Sawers

(06) 878 7004


Chris Lynch

(06) 757 3155


Robert Elms

(04) 472 7919

CHRISTCHURCH Dave McCone (03) 343 0599

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this document. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

No 45 AUTUMN 2018

IN THIS ISSUE 2  Mission Estate Winery New Zealand’s oldest winery drives sustainability

6 EV revolution Tax considerations for businesses with electric vehicles

A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR This issue we have chosen to focus on sustainability. This is something that we believe is very important to our future. While this word means many things to different people, to us it means sustainability of profit, planet and people. Over the years Staples Rodway have considered whether we move to a digital only version of NUMBERS magazine. Each time we have decided that the value of having the magazine published physically outweighs the cost financially and to the environment. The feedback we have repeatedly received is that our clients value receiving the hard copy, so that they can read it away from their desks and that they can put it in their reception areas. Given our focus on sustainability, we have reviewed our printing practices. The paper that we use is NEO SATIN from B&F Papers. It is an elemental chlorine free, PH acid free, FSC® certified and manufactured from responsible sources using ISO14001 certified production processes. Our printer, Centurion Print, uses only vegetable-oil based inks and water-based coatings. We are confident that our providers’ practices minimise the printing impact of NUMBERS magazine. NUMBERS Magazine is digitally published on Issuu and on our website ( at the same time that the physical magazine is published. If you would like to switch to the digital copy, please email with the office that you deal with and the name of your account. Nicola Hoogenboom NATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER & NUMBERS CO-EDITOR, STAPLES RODWAY NEW ZEALAND

8 Dairy Trust Seeking solutions using world-class science

10  Sustainable, responsible and impact investing The financial and social returns of sustainable funds

12 Waste Crusade We talk to Waste Watchers' Marty Hoffart

14 Women in Business Interview with Rachel Brown, CEO of the Sustainable Business Network

17  Staples Rodway snapshot Sustainability growing in Auckland office

18 Microsoft A model of business sustainability

20 Ethique Crowd gets behind the beauty of sustainability

22 Building a robust business How to embrace change and manage uncertainty

24 Ask an expert 26 The golden triangle Sustainability, employee engagement and business results

28 Finding common ground How to resolve disputes without damaging your business relationships

30 Investment managers How to sort the active from the passive

32 Financial reporting Ways to highlight sustainability

34 SME Leap Summit Leading Enterprise Acceleration and Productivity

36  Movers & Shakers

NEW ZEALAND’S OLDEST WINERY DRIVES SUSTAINABILITY The Mission Estate, set in the picturesque outlying hills of Napier, is New Zealand’s oldest winery and unbelievably is still under its management of origin. Established in 1851 by French missionaries, the Brothers of the Order travelled to France to study and learn both viticulture and winemaking. Their current winemaker, Paul Mooney, continues this legacy having originally been trained by the Fathers. Today, The Mission Estate is still true to its roots, supporting the Society of Mary.

Article by Andrea Stevenson STAPLES RODWAY HAWKE'S BAY


INEMAKER PAUL MOONEY IS EXTREMELY passionate about sustainability and connects this to The Mission Estate’s core values in being true to its roots and maintaining a commitment to being authentic and artisan wine producers. Paul states that, when it comes to sustainability, he is “wired that way… it’s like an obsession”. And this obsession has paid off — The Mission Estate can now boast that they use a third of the energy of the average winery of their size. Paul has been with The Mission Estate for over 30 years, but he didn’t start life as a winemaker. Instead, Paul studied physics and, upon graduating, he took a role on Campbell Island as a Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Technician and then went into a Trainee Field Engineer role for a French American Oil exploration company before joining The Mission Estate as a trainee winemaker. In 1982, he assumed the role of Head Winemaker. At that time, The Mission Estate was under-resourced and he had his role cut out for him. Peter Holley then joined as CEO in 1996 which saw the beginning of a period of change and growth and The Mission Estate begin its journey towards sustainability and effective environmental management. When asked if The Mission Estate is an industry leader, Paul is reluctant to take ownership of the phrase. Rather, he feels that The Mission Estate’s approach is to quietly work away on sustainability and take seriously their commitment to ensuring their footprint, resources, energy use, water use and operations are authentically delivered on as they produce their fine wines. It is not a marketing or PR strategy, but a genuine commitment to their beliefs. “We are doing it because it’s the right thing to do” says Paul. The Mission Estate’s focus is one that is very much in line with Pope Francis’ commitment to sustainability.

SO WHAT ARE THEY DOING? Firstly, The Mission Estate have ensured astute governance, which has seen a CEO and Board that is genuinely supportive of the sustainability focus and initiatives. Together, they have worked to ensure that sustainability has become an integral part of the Business Plan.

Paul Mooney, Mission Estate Winemaker

Initially they started small, setting up projects to begin monitoring and measuring key components of their operation from soil testing to energy use. This included careful measurement of inputs and their impact to work out relevant ratios. While these metrics are now common practice in the industry, they weren’t 17 years ago. They did this without the use of technology - equipment and software has made this process much easier. The winery now constantly monitors energy usage, including finding the “coefficient of performance” (COP) of their plant and has clear benchmarks in place across a number of measures. The Mission Estate were one of the five wineries who initially set up an Environmental Management System and in 1998 they obtained their ISO Certification which recognised their ongoing commitment to sustainable viticulture and wine-making practices — two elements that are now common practice. At this time, they also started running some of their blocks organically. From there, they have invested in capital that allows them to deliver on their sustainability objectives. A major step was the rebuild of the winery on the same footprint in 2005. Paul gives full credit to CEO Peter Holley and the Board for having a real understanding of the architecture and what was

NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 3

Mission Estate CEO, Peter Holley

needed for this rebuild. Working closely with local engineers and an architect, a purpose-built wine-making facility was designed and constructed. The new production facility was designed to deliver and maximise both energy and water efficiency. Instrumental in this was the use of thermal mass construction. The vast majority of energy used in the winery is consumed by refrigeration, and automation has allowed for energy reduction. A key step in this process has been in moving systems to operating overnight to make best use of off-peak electricity and only cooling once a week in summer (metrics showed that it takes a full week for the temperature to return to the maximum rate). Other steps included installing new lighting, removing the use of any diesel machinery (not an easy task when machinery is a key component of your operation); installing an inverter on the condensing heat exchanger; a separate glycol system; combined use of compressors and running these as close to capacity as possible for high energy efficiency; using selfgenerated nitrogen (instead of CO₂) which does not contribute to climate change; and, finally, operating on-site bottling and warehousing has seen a reduction in transport. Regular maintenance of equipment, regular checks for any leaks in refrigeration and air compressor systems also ensure high energy efficiency of all equipment. Over the years, leading edge viticulture techniques have been introduced including Precision Viticulture which identifies the variation in the vineyards using different sensors that are linked to GPS. This enables them to

produce maps which optimise the vineyard's performance and ultimately helps produces better quality wine. The Mission Estate has seen clear successes on the initiatives with feedback to the Board being very positive. Peter has been able to offset their investment against the payback they have obtained, ensuring a positive return on investment for shareholders. This is important in that shareholders in this case are the Seminary for the Society of Mary whose members staff numerous parishes and secondary schools in New Zealand, as well as supporting various missionaries at home and abroad.

WHERE TO START Paul’s recommendation to anyone wanting to move towards sustainability is to start collating data relevant to your business, your property or even your household. This involves measuring and tracking your inputs and their impact and then monitoring those from there on. Then, set a clear target and start identifying strategies to move towards it. Finally, a vital part for The Mission Estate in what they do is being true to their label — being authentic in all they do at all stages of the process. This includes using local suppliers and growers, and ensuring that what is in the bottle is true to the label. Overarching this is a dedicated focus on genuinely caring about what is delivered to the consumer and how. Having sampled The Mission Estate’s outputs (a tough job, but someone has to do it!), it comes highly recommended. NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 5

EV REVOLUTION TAX CONSIDERATIONS FOR BUSINESSES WITH ELECTRIC VEHICLES The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads has increased by 2,290% since 2013 and the all-electric Nissan Leaf was recently named the most reliable car in a Consumer NZ survey. It seems that the EV revolution may finally be here.

Article by Matt Shallcrass STAPLES CHRISTCHURCH


NTIL RECENTLY, EVS WERE TYPICALLY purchased by enthusiasts, keen to embrace new technology and wanting to reduce their oil dependence from traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. However, EVs are now becoming more common for general business applications and with this comes a number of questions regarding the potential tax considerations.

On 15 June 2017 the Commissioner of IRD issued a general determination for the depreciation rate of rapid DC car charging stations. The estimated useful life of a charging station has been set at 10 years, which enables the cost of installing such equipment to be capitalised as an asset and depreciated at 20% (diminishing value) or 13.5% (straight-line).

OWNERSHIP OPTIONS FRINGE BENEFIT TAX & PRIVATE USE Presently, there are no tax advantages for EVs, although there is some lobbying of Government to provide a tax break in the rate of Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) for EVs. However, for the time being, EVs are subject to the usual rules, if the vehicle is available for private use by employees or shareholder–employees. Some good news is that privately owned companies can now pay less tax on their new EVs (and also ICE vehicles) by adopting a cost apportionment treatment using a log book. The treatment offers the advantage that the company effectively pays tax (instead of FBT) based on approximate private mileage, whereas FBT applies to every day that the vehicle is available for private use, regardless of the amount of actual private mileage. The treatment is available for all vehicles purchased after 1 April 2017, and is similar to that used by a partnership or sole trader. Typically, this would involve recording the business vs private travel for a period of 3 months in a logbook and using this information to calculate the percentage of business use.

ELECTRICITY USAGE According to the Ministry of Transport (MoT) more than 85 percent of New Zealand homes have off-street parking, which makes overnight home charging of an EV easy and convenient. The MoT has already calculated some estimates that the electricity cost to charge an EV is $3 per 100km. However, the tax rules need to adapt to this new reality, as most homes usually only have a single meter to record their power consumption. So how does a business owner keep track of the electricity costs associated with charging their business EV from their personal power use? Some of the characteristics of an effective tax system is simplicity and administrative ease, which may be difficult to maintain depending on the amount of supporting information that needs to be held for claiming such expenditure as a business cost. One solution could be for the adoption of a standard rate for electricity usage using the MoT’s standard $3/100km estimate.

ELECTRIC CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE For businesses with a large number of EVs it may not be practical for them to be charged offsite, therefore investment in onsite charging infrastructure will be required.

There are a number of typical ownership options available to businesses. With EV batteries and overall range projected to keep improving, these are also worth considering: 1. Business Lease Income tax and GST would be able to be claimed on the lease and day to day running costs associated with the vehicle. There is no depreciation claim. Leasing may be a good option if a business intends to own the EV for less than 3 years, as it can regularly swap its older vehicles out for newer technology. 2. Business Buys EV There is an upfront GST claim and annual depreciation deductions can be claimed on the vehicle. Also, tax deductions would be able to be claimed on the day to day running costs associated with the vehicle (including loan interest). Ownership is often preferable for standard ICE vehicles if a business intends to own them for more than 3 years. However, there are other factors to consider for EVs. There may be the cost of replacement of battery packs in future years, which can be significant. And obsolescence is likely to be a more significant factor given the rapidly evolving technology for EVs. 3. Private Ownership Private owners can claim mileage reimbursement from their business of 81 cents for every kilometre travelled in an EV. When using this method, the owner cannot claim deductions for actual expenditure, GST or depreciation. The IRD has published a reimbursement rate for EVs, claimable at 81 cents vs 73 cents for ICEs and vehicles that are a hybrid of EV and ICE. The higher rate applicable to EVs is because of their higher fixed costs compared to ICEs, given EVs are more expensive for a similar sized vehicle and may need to incur the expense of a replacement battery in the future.

CONCLUSIONS Over the coming years there is no doubt that EVs should become part of every business fleet. Therefore, it is time for the IRD to think about some of the above issues for this technology which is becoming so important. In particular, it is critical that business owners are not discouraged from taking up the technology and that they have simple and fair tax rules that take account of the differences between EVs and the traditional ICE powered vehicles. NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 7


Article by Virginia Winder

In the face of climate change and a call for increased sustainability, a Taranaki farming organisation is using cutting edge science and research to find solutions.


AIRY TRUST TARANAKI, FORMED ABOUT a year ago, has put together its first science direction for the province and is working on trials at its four research farms. Trust chairman Brendan Attrill says to find out what the sector wanted from research in the region, farmer-focused workshops were held. The ideas gathered were then prioritised into groups. The resulting research is all about sustainability; not just from an environmental point of view, but also from a farmer’s economic viability stance. “A number of our traditional dairybased businesses in Taranaki have come under significant pressure due to climatic shock,” Attrill says. As a result, research into an autumn calving programme has become a clear focus for the Trust. “We want to take a proactive look at what’s going on in that autumn calving space and also listen to a number of leaders in our province, who have already changed to autumn calving and use them as companion farmers,” Attrill says. A few farmers on the coast have been autumn calving for 10 to 15 years, whereas most will calve in late winter/spring. “But with the severe climatic challenges we have seen over the last five years, we have seen an acceleration of people looking at changing to autumn calving.” The Trust’s research is shared over four properties — the Stratford Demonstration Farm (51 hectares), Waimate West Demonstration Farm (34ha), the Gibson farm (110ha) at Whareroa near Hawera and the coastal Kavanagh Farm (210ha). Coming under one umbrella made sense, because the farms were competing for slim research funding and now the Trust can utilise the joint skills available from each farm, Attrill says. Trust operations manager Debbie McCallum says the research tackles the issues around the winter wet and the summer dry, which is becoming more accentuated. While Taranaki-focused, she says research from this region will be applicable to other parts of New Zealand. “We have the high altitude and the wet, and we also have the coast, with low rainfall and a dry summer, which does cover a lot of the climatic variables you have throughout the countryside,” she says. At the Stratford Demonstration Farm, researchers are looking at covered feed pads. One herd is grazed continuously on pasture, which is the traditional way, and the other herd is moved on to a covered feed pad when soils get saturated in winter and early spring. On the covered pad, cows are given feed supplements and can rest in an area deep with litter bark. “It’s looking at the cost–benefit analysis of that and environmental impacts,” McCallum says.

Researchers are also looking at a lower stocking rate and all-grass system, versus a farm where cows are supplemented with palm kernel when feed is short. Or a system where cows are fed supplements “grown on your back doorstep”, namely kibbled maize or barley. “We’re aware of the pitfalls of palm kernels going forward as far as it being an imported feed,” McCallum says. “We are trying to find a system that’s going to be sustainable in the future. We would like to use more environmental measurements, but they are expensive, and they need more funding.” While the Trust is new, the research isn’t – the demonstration farms have been around for decades so have a large pool of studies behind them. Going forward, Attrill says the Trust has big plans. “We want to perform world-class science. We want to be the leaders of regional research within the New Zealand dairy space. We want to be a top-class, highly regarded research entity.” Along with doing relevant research, the Trust wants, through farm income, to be profitable every year, so it can continue with self-funded science. It also wants to be an excellent partner for people to be involved with. Already the Trust leases significant amounts of land off Fonterra, the South Taranaki District Council and the Stratford Demonstration Farm. “We want to be seen as pretty cool people to hitch your wagon to.” Staples Rodway Taranaki is one of the professional bodies supporting the Trust’s research goals. “Staples Rodway play an important part of that. Marise James and Jordan Hartley-Smith are pretty pivotal to all our day-to-day operations.” Acting as the Trust’s full financial back office, Staples Rodway Taranaki help with payroll, bookkeeping, monthly reporting and attending board meetings, as well as providing the full range of HR support and advisory services. “We also support them with their IT requirements, facilitating the full set up of wireless internet connections to all of their farms and ongoing technical support,” Hartley-Smith says. “The key to our relationship with the Trust has been the ability for us to provide remote offerings that enable them to sign off invoices, etc., from anywhere and receive technical support in rural areas, so no waiting around for help.” Attrill says working with others is extremely important to the Trust. “We want to be leaders around the way we manage people, around the way we develop people and we want to develop our governors around the table,” he says, mentioning succession planning. “We want to see them come through the industry as young leaders and develop further by taking senior roles as the Dairy Trust develops.” NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 9



The sustainable investment movement has grown enormously in the past decade. In the early days, it was regarded as a fringe interest, mainly for small investors with strong views on the environment and human rights. Since then, the amount of money invested in 'sustainable' funds has increased dramatically.


Y DEFINITION SUSTAINABLE, RESPONSIBLE AND impact investing (SRI) is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. Other descriptions include "green" or ethical investing.

DEFINING SRI An exact definition of 'sustainable' or 'socially responsible' investment is hard to pin down. For example, some investors are anxious to avoid putting their money into firms that manufacture arms, alcohol or tobacco. Others want to avoid companies that excessively pollute the environment. Note the use of the word excessively because, for SRI investors, defining what’s acceptable will be important in determining your options. The challenge is in measuring and ranking the efforts and ultimate outcomes that any business has in trying to meet the expectations of investors looking specifically for SRI options. A building, for example, may be market leading in energy performance and use of renewable materials — but it’s still likely to need construction materials that cannot be recycled. This demonstrates how investors need to appreciate ‘true’ SRI can be elusive. As managers of client funds, we are very aware of the opportunities and options available around SRI and the increased interest in this area of investing. It would also be true to say that the fund managers we deal with are very conscious of the issues as well and are equally interested in providing the best options to clients.

BEYOND SCREENING From the fund manager's point of view, SRI can mean more than 'screening out' undesirable companies and 'screening in' those that are judged to be sustainable. Some more active fund managers have begun to play an 'advocacy' role, putting pressure on individual companies to improve their social and environmental performance. In this respect the entire investment community has a role in changing both the specific SRI investment opportunities available and also the behaviours of companies and industries not typically associated with SRI investing. This can take the form of lobbying at companies' annual general meetings, or private meetings between fund managers and company directors.

HERE TO STAY In some studies, sustainable funds have outperformed the rest of the market. There is some debate over whether the outperformance of these funds can be attributed to sustainable business practices, or whether it merely reflects the fact that 'sustainable' businesses tend to be newer, larger, high-tech enterprises. Either way, investors can be assured that a focus on SRI investing is here to stay. Regardless of your portfolio’s specific objectives, those involved in your investment will be working towards more sustainable and responsible practices. Staples Rodway Asset Management incorporates good corporate governance and SRI investment options into our overall business and investment offerings. Staples Rodway Asset Management is a boutique investment advisory service that specialises in providing personalised and impartial investment solutions for individuals and trusts. An adviser can be contacted at or on 0508 220 022. NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 11




On an uncharacteristically bleak day in Tauranga, Marty Hoffart is a bright ray of sunshine in our office. An enthusiastic recycler and waste minimiser, he provides insight into living a more sustainable life. He is passionate about rubbish, especially in measuring and reducing the amount that ends up in landfill!


ASTE IS A HOT TOPIC presently — China has banned imports of plastic packaging and 23 other types of waste. No longer can China be the world’s dumping ground and this will have major implications for waste and recycling in New Zealand. Marty Hoffart wears many hats with the various organisations he currently heads or is involved with. Organisations ranging from Paper4trees, which incentivises schools to recycle, rewarding that recycling with native trees, through to his commercial focus with Waste Watchers Ltd. He also heads the National Board of Zero Waste Network, which coordinates local recycling networks in New Zealand. Marty is determined to make a difference and when he finds a gap, he fills it. He noted Tauranga was missing a branch from the Keep New Zealand Beautiful campaign and helped set this up. Last year his work was recognised in the Kiwibank Local Hero award. Waste Watchers’ slogan is “We’ll Slim your Bin”. Through this company, Marty assists businesses and industry groups to minimise waste and implement zero waste principles. It can work as simply as looking in your rubbish bin and finding out where it ends up. Marty details an example where one of his client’s staff members were diligently separating recycling into three bins, only to have all that good work undone when the commercial cleaners added the contents of each bin into the same rubbish bag, which meant everything ended up in landfill! Waste Watchers has worked alongside many local body councils with different projects to measure, reduce and re-use waste. On average “eighty percent of all waste ending up in landfill has been generated from business”. With this in mind, many councils have started assisting businesses to undertake their processes in a more sustainable way and are actively involved in helping businesses reduce waste. The Western Bay of Plenty District Council initiated a project that Waste Watchers were involved in studying the Kiwifruit Industry and waste from packhouse operations. Tauranga City Council has many case studies on their website of exemplary businesses, with examples including the Mount Maunganui Beachside Holiday Park and Devan Plastics, a water tank manufacturer. In the case of Devan Plastics, they implemented a comprehensive recycling programme including recycling toner cartridges, obsolete computers, and plastic from factory offcuts, packaging, copper wire and shrink-wrap, resulting in a reduction to landfill of 80%. Mount Maunganui Holiday Park initiated a trial diverting food scraps from landfill, and now compost five tonnes of green waste annually and has a commercial worm farm on site. They also recycle 20 tonnes of paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metal containers each year. For these businesses, as well as operating more sustainably, they are also making savings to their bottom line.

Marty Hoffart of Waste Watchers

Waste Watchers is involved in many aspects of minimising use and conservation of resources. They help businesses with waste audits; cleaner production processes; water and energy conservation; and reviews of business systems. Marty says that it is about providing an independent eye over the operation — sometimes it takes someone from outside the business to see where resources can be saved from going to landfill. With the Labour/Green/NZ First coalition government in place we may see a more concerted effort to encourage more sustainable business practices. Currently the governmentimposed waste levy, a charge placed on rubbish taken to landfill, is set at $10 per tonne. It has been in place for a decade without any increase. Raising the levy to be more in line with Australia’s $140 a tonne would encourage more recycling. A 2017 report found that a similar increase by 2025 would slash NZ waste by at least 3 million tonnes per year. The report, “A Wasted Opportunity” also says raising the levy would create a net benefit of $500 million to the economy annually and create an additional 9,000 jobs. The current cheap landfill rates do not make a business case for setting up new recycling ventures. Marty is a strong advocate for such change and is an active voice for zero waste. Where possible he meets with Ministers and local authorities, and is active in the media. He has even presented these ideas in a TED Talk! Marty can see that people will recycle when it is easy and there is encouragement. Part of the government’s role is to create the climate and conditions for this change. With 80% of the landfill coming from businesses, it isn’t the home recycler that we should be the most concerned about. For businesses that don’t know where to begin his suggestion is to start with your local council — they can point you in the right direction, or he is happy to be contacted through the Waste Watchers website — NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 13

RACHEL BROWN SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS NETWORK CEO Rachel Brown is one of the most influential people in New Zealand’s business community. Having started the Sustainable Business Network in 2002, Rachel works hard to help make New Zealand a model for sustainability. In early 2018 she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for years of service to sustainable business.

Interview by Claire Dilks & Nicola Hoogenboom STAPLES RODWAY WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Q:​ What influenced you to get into sustainable business? A: I had activist parents, but we grew up in Howick, which was going through massive development in the late 60s and 70s. It was going from a rural part of Auckland to a high end, expensive suburb. A lot of the people who lived around us in our neighbourhood were MDs of global corporations and my parents were lovingly called the Hippies of Howick. My parents were very values based and when we were little we used to get taken out to stop roading developments through mangrove swamps. My Mum was a scientist, so she would be looking at sediment samples and showing them to us kids, talking about vertebrates and fish life. All the while the next door neighbours' parents were involved in car companies. So, I was able to see both sides and I could see the value of both. I saw that business is really opportunity focused, they can see things really well and they make things happen fast, whereas on the negative side of the social movements tend to be the ‘no, no, no’ type, which is not very helpful. I wanted to look at how we could change things, rather than just say that we can’t do things. Q:​ Why did you decide to start the SBN? A: I started working in sustainable business just before 2000. Before I was running the environmental business network, I was working in sustainable business for [ex-Waitakere City Mayor] Bob Harvey, where I realised really quickly that the business community were wary of government agencies, who were seen as stopping progress. At the time, I was trying to say “there is a brighter way of doing business that looks after people, and the environment, while doing well, so let’s work that piece out.” They used to always look at me and say “that’s really interesting, now look, there is a roading sign on the road, which is in the wrong place, can you get that moved.” That’s what they wanted to talk to me about. What I realised was that if business was going to follow anyone, they were going to follow each other, so I started an organisation of businesses that were doing this stuff. That was my part time… hobby… and then it eventually took over my life, so SBN was started in 2002 and it was a coming together of a bunch of different organisations. Businesses leading the charge was my mission.

Q:​ What does sustainability mean to you? A: For me sustainable really is about the intergenerational and long-term. For that to work well you have to be able to live well, make money well, while looking after each other and the planet. Q:​ What does SBN do? A: We do a lot around connecting businesses and do a lot of events. Simply putting them in the same room, they can often find great things to do. They are like-minded, so they don’t have to explain where they are coming from because they are already on the same page. We also inspire people, because in business there are very few companies out there who genuinely lead. Initially somebody’s example in one place, you may not think relates to you, but when you look at it, you think “we could take this part here, change it this way and use it”. Our awards (NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards) are also part of how we inspire businesses every year. We have a big piece around “act” — encouraging our members to do things themselves. We pull them together to collaborate, from making resources together, creating best practice guidelines, to big systemic projects, like our Million Metres Streams project or the Circular Economy. This is the opposite of the Linear Economy, “Take, Make, Waste”. Take it

Rachel Brown at the NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards

NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 15

out of the ground, make it into waste. The Circular Economy looks at how we can make it so it never goes into waste. We also advise companies, so if they have no idea what they can do, we help them start. Q:​ How many people work for SBN? A: We have around 20 people working for us and we also have business connectors around the country who are not staff, but affiliates. Q:​ How do you fund it all? A: We have an innovate funding stream. Membership is still the main funding for our work, but then we pull collaborations together, which are co-funded. The Million Metres Streams project is largely funded through crowdsourcing, which is working really well. Interestingly, we do get a lot of individuals, but the biggest source of funding for that is coming from business, not from individuals.

The Million Metres Streams Project is working to clean up NZ's waterways

Q:​ Do you notice that there has been a shift in attitude surrounding sustainability? A: The biggest shift for sustainability is that it has gone from being an add-on for companies, the sponsorship relationship, etc., to looking at what they do as a business. Asking what their skill set is, seeing how they can influence from the inside out. There was big growth up to 2007, then a big crash in 2008, then slowly rebuilding. But now it is in the space of “how do we grow a sustainable economy?” Q:​ We have been doing a lot in our organisation, including becoming CEMARS accredited, do you think there is much space in the service sector to become more sustainable? A: I think that the service sector is the brains behind business. Accountants for example can either choose to support sustainability or undermine it by seeing it solely as a cost. Staples Rodway already does a lot in helping sustainable organisations and you could be a massive influencer in the area of sustainable growth, as you deal with so many locally-owned businesses. These sorts of businesses really do need help 16 • NUMBERS Autumn 2018

and it is often their lawyers and accountants that they go to. Some advisors will say that you are wasting your time, and not support someone's vision, like Ethique (see our story on page 20). If Ethique's founder had hit advisors that had said she was wasting her time, she would have kept going on her mission, but without the support she needed. But somebody getting in behind her and talking to her about making more money, or faster money, or different money by doing great stuff, or through alliances, makes it an easier mission. It is a choice and it always comes down to individuals, you will meet accountants and lawyers who are giving great advice and influencing. And service providers can lobby for change. The tax working group, for example, could be bringing this into the agenda. Q:​ What is coming in the future? A: For SBN our big push is for the Circular Economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is massive and is looking for more examples on-the-ground. New Zealand is ideal for that, we are small, interconnected. You can talk to your Prime Minister, leaders of industry, community organisations. You can bring the group together because of having such quick access. The challenge is getting things funded. Q:​ What does the business environment look like these days? A: In the early days, I was the young woman in a room full of blokes, and it is still mainly men. If you go to a CEO forum, if there are women there they will be senior, but generally not the CEO. I used to have to go to meetings where I had to learn some rugby language, just to talk to some of these people at networking drinks after these forums. Sometimes, when I say things from a people or planetary angle, I get looked at like I’ve lost the plot! I spoke to a woman on the board of one of our largest corporates the other day, who said the same thing. She said that she tries to bring the soft stuff into the board room and they don’t get a look-in. There is a difference between men and women and there are not enough women in these senior roles. Q:​ Do you think we would be more sustainable if we had more women at the boardroom table? A: I do, but it isn’t just women, it is diversity. Women, Maori, people who are from cultures that are more community focused. It is good for business. Q:​ What are your proudest moments? A: Most recently it would be being awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit. I am very self-critical, I look it and think that I have been doing this for 20 years and question what I have done, but it reminds me how far we have come. Funnily, I have no idea who nominated me! It really is an honour being recognised for the work I have been doing. Another is being picked by Al Gore eight years ago to be part of a 24–hour global broadcast. There were 24 people,

including Al Gore and I was the New Zealand representative, which was pretty amazing. Meeting Anita Roddick (Founder of The Body Shop) was another. It was pretty scary for me, she has such a big personality and this amazing laser focus. And she really doesn’t suffer fools! She was an amazing woman. I am also really proud of the work we are doing in Million Metres right now. We are pulling together so many diverse players, from the people who want to save their local stream to these passionate business people who want to throw money at it. And the knock-on effect of cleaning up our rivers is that it helps our oceans. Q:​ What has been your biggest challenge? A: Personally — trying to not work all the time. For SBN it has been the past ten years and needing to bust the perception of cost vs. investment. Our name isn’t always helpful — the S words gets in the way. Recently research with NZI reinforced that businesses operating with sustainability in mind are doing well, but the ones who didn’t, it was because they saw it as a cost. Q:​ Who do you look up to? A: Lots of people — people like Taika Waititi; Al Gore — his Inconvenient Truth really brought a lot of awareness; Anita Roddick — she was incredible; Dame Anne Salmond — her storytelling is amazing and she brings in Iwi beautifully. Q:​ What are your tips for women looking to get into leadership positions? A: 1. Don’t buy into the male-dominated culture, bring your true self into the game. 2. Be bold — hold your truth and share it. 3. Don’t hold yourself back, get up there and do it — push for the things you think need to happen. 4. Bravery — a lot of people won’t do things because they haven’t done them before, or they are a bit awkward. Pull in a network of supporters.

The Circular Economy is an integral aspect of Rachel's work at SBN

SUSTAINABILITY GROWING IN STAPLES RODWAY'S AUCKLAND OFFICE As part of our Auckland office’s CEMARS certification on 30 March 2017 we have formed a sustainability committee, where we come up with new initiatives to improve the environmental impact of our office. Since becoming accredited, our electricity usage has been reduced by over 30%. This is due to a change in our overhead office lighting to LED bulbs. Recycling bins have also been placed around the office to encourage our staff to make conscious decisions about their waste and to reduce the negative impact this waste can have on the environment. We have also taken this opportunity to implement compostable waste bins. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone – so we have decided to distribute a number of plants that specifically target air purification. Of course they are nice to have around, too. We are continuously improving our environmental practices, including our next initiative, which is a multi-layered effort to reduce paper usage. Watch this space!



Technology has long driven reductions in our environmental footprint. It has created renewable energy such as wind turbines, hydro and solar power. It is because of technology that we can adapt our lives to encourage a sustainable future.


HEN WE LOOK AT TECHNOLOGY in relation to business sustainability, it seems apt to discuss one of the largest companies in the world, Microsoft. The technology giant has built its whole business model around Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and a huge part of its efforts go towards leveraging technology to solve some of the world’s most urgent environmental issues. However, this isn’t just because Microsoft’s founder is a strong environmental advocate. They understand that over the long term, businesses that are socially responsible outperform those that are not. Companies that survive the longest are usually the ones that have realised their ability to give back, as Winston Churchill said: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Not only does Microsoft consider the environment in the products they produce, but more importantly in the actions they take. In fact, CEO Satya Nadella states in his interview on CNN Money* that it is not the product that drives the business forward, but the culture. Microsoft’s culture centres on and embraces the opportunity to help people and organizations around the world to improve the environment, and has also recognised that its responsibility begins from within. Effective July 2012, they made a company-wide commitment to carbon neutrality. To help them reach this goal, they established an internal carbon fee model that holds their business groups financially responsible for the cost of reducing and compensating for their carbon emissions. With the funds collected through the carbon fee, they have: ƒƒ purchased more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power ƒƒ reduced their emissions by 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e) ƒƒ had an impact on more than 3.2 million people in emerging nations through carbon offset community projects ƒƒ saved more than $10 million per year Since Nadella came on board as Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, the company has gone from strength to strength. Its stock price has been at its highest ever, it is worth more than $650 billion and Nadella was named Fortune’s 2017 business person of the year. We can gain great insight into his leader-

ship by reading his book ‘Hit Refresh’. Nadella states: “At the core, Hit Refresh is about us humans and the unique quality we call empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt the status quo like never before”. It is no surprise that Microsoft was named Forbes 2017 2nd best CSR company based on an analysis of 170,000 company ratings. The study compiled by Reputation Institute tracks social responsibility reputations based on consumer’ perceptions of company governance, positive influence on society and treatment of employees. As part of their campaign to have a positive influence on society, Microsoft are actively seeking to mitigate their carbon footprint, water usage, energy purchases and product recycling. They are also encouraging others to do the same and even if this happens to have a positive influence on selling their cloud based products, it is true that data centre energy consumption continues to climb globally so promoting the use of the cloud can only be a good thing. Microsoft President, Brad Smith said, “Across the tech sector we need to recognise that data centres will rank by the middle of the next decade among the large users of electrical power on the planet.” Therefore, utilising cloud based technology is a huge step forward and by moving to the cloud, all businesses can minimise the impact their operation has on the environment. Recently Staples Rodway made a move to cloud-based email and most of our offices are now using Office365. Not only does this allow us to enjoy reduced capital investment at a local level, simpler administration of our data services, automated updates, enhanced security (all benefits associated with the cloud), we can also be comfortable in the knowledge that we are working toward a reduced environmental footprint as we migrate services to shared data centres, supporting and partnering with a company that shares similar sustainability initiatives. It is great knowing that the company we have partnered with takes its responsibility as a good corporate citizen as seriously as we do. * The energy footprint of the IT sector is already estimated to consume approximately 7% of global electricity.

NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 19

Christchurch based social enterprise company Ethique creates and manufactures sustainable beauty products from its own purpose-built laboratory.


OUNDER AND ENTREPRENEUR BRIANNE WEST started A decision was made by the board of directors that an the business in 2012 in the kitchen of her home. She additional crowd funding capital raise would be undertaken, started formulating and creating solid haircare and beauty utilising the ‘PledgeMe’ platform. The aim of this round bars with a goal of reducing the number of plastic bottles that would be to raise another $500,000 to further assist with were ending up in landfills. Brianne took her company from the a global marketing and PR campaign, worldwide distribukitchen table to a new 780 square metre purpose-built labotion and working capital. The launch of the capital raise was ratory, opened in June 2017. “We are struggling to keep the announced at the 2017 Social World Enterprise World Forum, warehouse full - demand has been incredible” she explains. held in Christchurch. The board agreed to offer additional Brianne details the issues that we are currently facing with shares to existing shareholders and then to the public. In just respect to plastics in the environment. A major problem is that over 90 minutes the company had achieved its goal of raising there are approximately 80 billion plastic bottles disposed of $500,000! An amazing effort which truly shows that people each and every year, however only 12% of plastics are actually have a real interest, they believe what Ethique stands for and recycled. There are approximately 8 tonnes of plastic that end they want to be a part of it. up in the ocean every year. According to Brianne commented that, ‘We decided global studies 9 out of 10 fish ingest microto crowdfund again because we love plastics and at this rate by 2050 there will involving our customers and supporters as be more plastic than fish in the sea. That is much as possible in all facets of our busia pretty scary thought! ness and bringing them along for the ride. In order to tackle such a major issue, Over 80% of the first round of investors the company had to look at various stratewere Ethique customers, so it’s awesome gies to reach beyond New Zealand. These to see them get another opportunity to include PR and marketing on a global own a piece of the brand they love.” scale, and ensuring that distribution is able Craig Hamilton, Director at Staples to cope to reach all corners of the world. Rodway Christchurch says, ”I am extremely Increasing demand creates the further proud to be involved with Ethique, and I challenge of being able to increase probelieve that this company has a very bright duction to be able to meet that demand. future. It’s about the story and the passion In 2015 Ethique entered into the crowd that Brianne and her team bring every day Brianne West gets hands on at funding space in order to raise funds and I love being part of their team. They all Ethique's production facility to assist with an extension to its operawork so hard and every bottle they save tions and provide some much-needed from landfills and the ocean is amazing. I working capital. It took two weeks to raise was astonished to learn that just one hair$200,000. This allowed the company to make further progress care bar saves 3 bottles from being disposed into landfills and in the New Zealand market, mainly in the development of their each online order sent receives a personalised hand-written product range and also for some much-needed expansion of card detailing the number of bottles that they have saved.” their production facilities. On a final note, Brianne appreciates the support of Staples Then in 2017, around the time of the move to their new Rodway for her business, ”Over the past 12 months the rate premises, things really started to take off. Ethique was getting of growth and the changes that we have had to make on an some real traction within New Zealand, both from online sales, almost daily basis have been phenomenal. Staples Rodway but also distributing into various boutique stores and pharmaand, in particular, Craig have been amazing. The timeliness cies. At the same time, worldwide sales from their website of information, management reporting and the many iterawere growing. This led to discussions with major distributors in tions of cashflow forecasts as the business has changed and both Australia and the United States. The result was the need new markets are being entered into, coupled with the Crowd for a major overhaul to its manufacturing to meet the demand Funding process - we would have been lost without their that these distributors were going to place on Ethique. support.’

NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 21



The mythological Hydra can be considered anti-fragile: each time you cut off one of its heads, two grow back. When attacked, it only gets stronger. So, how does one bring out one's inner Hydra and remain sustainable in the face of uncertainty?


ROGRESS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY HAS been both well founded and highly topical in recent times. Many businesses however neglect to consider sustainability from a robustness point of view. Is the business model so fragile that it will fail at the first hurdle, or is it structured in a way to cope with or even thrive on change? Sustainability is about maintaining structure and retaining value in the business which makes it attractive to clients, competitors and investors. Only once a business truly understands the ecology of corporate survival and embraces managing uncertainty can it start to be considered sustainable. The inevitability of change is often unseen until it is too late. Corporate behemoths like Kodak and Nokia were deemed unstoppable in the decades they were dominant, only to become consigned to an interesting Wikipedia footnote or business school case study. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), an index of the 30 largest stocks in the United States since 1896, has seen cotton, rubber, sugar and tobacco stocks taken over by consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and technology stocks. The median length of time today’s DJIA30 companies have been included in the index is only 21 years, suggesting a rapid pace of chance. While resilience (recovering from failure) is an important virtue, robustness (resisting failure) should be sought out in the first instance. The holy grail is to be considered anti-fragile, where a business can thrive on uncertainty. This is why Silicon Valley often views failing quickly as a blessing in disguise, as it gives you the opportunity to innovate faster. Businesses should regularly review and critique their business models, assess changes in the market and acknowledge what is and what is not working for the firm. This process, which can be something as simple as a SWOT analysis, should identify key gaps in the business model and seek to remedy them with more robust alternatives. For example: ƒƒ An identified lack of presence in emerging products, markets or technology can either be built up internally or acquired externally. When Apple realised Power by Proxi had superior wireless charging technology to them, the best way it could reach its objective was not to aggressively compete, but to acquire the business, intellectual property and knowledgeable staff and get on with delivering on its own objective of making phones. ƒƒ Inadequate or undocumented supply contracts, employment contracts or intellectual property leave a firm vulnerable, inflexible and unprepared for change. ƒƒ Improving transparency. Clean tidy accounts that omit

personal expenses and intercompany arrangements will give a more accurate representation of true profitability of the company. This will deliver more accurate numbers and allow more informed decisions to be made. ƒƒ Supply chain transparency can also be an advantage. For example, Patagonia actively decided to keep an eye on its manufacturers and distributors to reduce any negative social and environmental impacts the company may have. ƒƒ A lack of investment in key infrastructure can be an accident waiting to happen. Don’t wait for a cataclysmic failure before, for example, investing in new ICT hardware. Preventative maintenance can solve many problems before they occur. Many of these matters may not immediately increase headline profits, however it will reduce the uncertainty surrounding the probability of achieving them. While no-one knows what the future holds, it is this management of uncertainty that makes a business more attractive. The attractiveness and value of the business will grow proportionately, with prospective purchasers willing to pay higher prices for having key risks mitigated. Structure and value retained in a business can be the difference between obtaining a 3x or >7x multiple of earnings when exiting a business or trying to raise new capital. An additional benefit of having a robust business is that it will be considered more ‘bankable’. The reduction in key risks is more attractive to external financing, business partners and joint venture partners and increases the flexibility to adapt to new situations such as adding new product lines or divisions as gaps in the market are identified. Once a business has established a robust business model that will resist failure, it should consider whether it can become ‘anti-fragile’. Nassim Taleb coined this term in his book by the same name, and it addresses increasing the capability, resilience or robustness of a business. Anti-fragile systems benefit and thrive on disorder. Taleb went so far as to say “I’d rather be dumb and antifragile than extremely smart and fragile.” So how does one bring out one’s inner Hydra? ƒƒ If under threat from a new emerging technology or new competitor, ascertain whether they are truly in the same industry and targeting the same market. Consider aggressively acquiring staff, patents, know-how, and capabilities in this new target area. Blockbuster famously turned down an offer to acquire Netflix in 2000 for $50m after incorrectly assessing it as a small niche business. (cntd. over) NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 23

ƒƒ T  esting ideas and new products quickly and expecting the majority to fail. People can spend too long developing a product or service for which there is simply no market, or for which someone else is quicker to market. Once the business proposition is validated, ask should this be internally rolled out or externally acquired? The quicker the turnaround in this iterative process of idea –> validation –> execution, the higher the chance of success. ƒƒ Refocusing. Realistically measure and assess underperforming areas of the business and either discontinue product lines or divisions or consider divesting them. This can free up capital to pursue either core competencies or new areas of growth. IBM took a cold hard look at themselves and decided to exit the hardware business that they had been dominant in for so long to become a cloud computing, analytics, cognitive computing and AI company and has finally arrested its declining revenue numbers. LEGO took the opposite approach and staved off bankruptcy in 2004 by selling off everything not vital to its core product and refocusing its product lines. LEGO has since recorded phenomenal growth. ƒƒ Value your human capital. Consider sufficient incentivisation and appropriate retention of key staff. In our experience, this is often the single largest contributing factor to poorly executed M&A. Forecasts mean nothing without experienced, capable and committed staff to execute the plan. ƒƒ Creating redundancy in operational procedures by making sure key organisational knowledge doesn’t sit with any one person, key supplies can be sourced from multiple vendors, or computer servers are not sitting in one physical location. ƒƒ Creating optionality. By reducing its reliance on any one particular hardware supplier, Apple has been able to switch back and forth from vendors to supply computer components. This optionality insulated Apple from market changes and supplier dependence, letting them keep a foot in each camp. ƒƒ Similarly, with the Blockbuster example, while we have the benefit of hindsight, $50m would have been a small price to pay for the option to see how a new media content delivery service played out and, if successful, scale up operations. Today Netflix is worth $170b and Blockbuster has gone into bankruptcy. ƒƒ Don’t assume a static industry in which the status quo will continue forever. Businesses should always be open to new ideas and assessing new avenues to grow. Change is inevitable. It is how quickly you can adapt to it that will determine your success. Only once a business has incorporated elements of a robust or even an anti-fragile business plan is it on the right path to becoming a truly sustainable business. Three Sixty Capital Partners Ltd is Staples Rodway’s boutique Mergers & Acquisitions partner. If you are interested in acquiring new businesses, selling down, making a strategic exit, or undertaking a capital raise, speak to your Staples Rodway advisor.

24 • NUMBERS Autumn 2018

ASK AN EXPERT In our regular feature we answer readers' questions on any area in the world of finance, accounting, audit, tax, and other business-related areas. Take advantage of our expertise and send your question to questions@ and one of our specialists may answer it in a forthcoming issue of NUMBERS.

I’m a property investor and I have heard of a law change that means I will pay a tax on capital gains if I sell property within five years of acquisition. Is this accurate? Answer from Mike Rudd, Tax Director, Staples Rodway Auckland

During the election campaign, the Labour Party promised to expand the “bright-line test” from two years to five years. The bright-line test imposes income tax on the sale of residential property bought and sold within a period where another land tax provision does not apply. The government have introduced legislation to facilitate this. From a practical viewpoint, the main change in the legislation is that the word “two” in the current bright-line test is replaced with the word “five”. The other rules remain unchanged (for example the main home exemption). The expansion in the bright-line test will only come into force when the Bill receives Royal Assent, most likely before 31 March 2018. As a result, the application of the bright-line test will depend on the date a property was acquired. In summary: ƒƒ Where an interest in the land was acquired prior to 1 October 2015, no bright-line test applicable; ƒƒ Where an interest in the land was acquired on or after 1 October 2015 but before the Bill receives royal assent, a two year bright-line test applicable; and ƒƒ Where an interest in the land was acquired on or after the Bill receives royal assent, a five-year bright-line test applicable. Please note that the above dates are not the same as the start date for the two and five year bright-line tests.


There are a few things to remember: 1. You will only pay tax under the bright-line test if the property increases in value. If the property decreases in value, you will incur a loss, but this loss cannot be offset against non bright-line test income types. 2. The bright-line test only applies where none of the other land taxing provisions apply. So, for example, if you bought a property with the purpose of resale, then you would be taxed under a different provision. 3. The start date for the bright-line test can vary. This is largely dependent on the type of residential property purchased (for instance, apartment off-the-plans, an existing house). 4. Extreme care needs to be taken around restructuring as in many situations, restructuring of private affairs can either crystallise a bright-line test obligation or trigger a new start date for a bright-line test obligation. 5. Care needs to be taken around the “main home exemption” as specific criteria need to be met. The expanded timeframe means that more care needs to be taken, especially around the restructuring of private affairs and around investing in residential property. We anticipate that under the expanded bright-line test, there will be more people unintentionally caught than before.

NOTE: The above is general advice only and should not be relied upon as specific circumstances can vary. Please contact your Staples Rodway advisor for specific advice.

NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 25


business results

Business Success


employee engagement

“The companies that survive longest are the ones that work out what they uniquely can give to the world—not just growth or money but their excellence, their respect for others, or their ability to make people happy. Some call those things a soul." CHARLES HANDY


HE GOLDEN TRIANGLE STATES THAT business results, employee engagement and sustainability are as critical as each other for business success; and that they need to be interrelated and given equal attention. Today, an increasing number of organisations are identifying sustainability as a key differentiator for competitive advantage, acknowledging its role in building brand value and reputation; ensuring public and stakeholder trust; attracting capital; increasing competitiveness; driving innovation; and attracting and retaining talent. Without employees viewing sustainability as a key and significant part of their role this vision cannot ever be attained. In fact, Donna Williams, General Manager Customer Experience and Marketing for NZI, principal partner of the Sustainable Business Network says, “Being a sustainable business is a lot more than having green initiatives. It’s about creating a business model that is resilient and endures the test of time. It means taking responsibility for the people it employs and the communities and environment it operates in.”

or unethical and 73% want to work in companies that are sustainable. Therefore, having a sustainable business not only ensures a good revenue stream, but also a higher number of possible recruits, meaning a better chance of hiring talent and retaining staff. The benefits to following a sustainable business model include: 1. Brand and reputation — increased visibility and social responsibility 2. Improved access to capital — viability of their business 3. Better financial performance — enhancing operational performance 4. Innovation and efficiency — process streamlining 5. Enhanced ability to attract and retain talent — people want to belong 6. Social benefits — impact on climate change and energy use 7. Greater relationships with key stakeholders — creation of trustworthiness

SUCCESS THROUGH SUSTAINABILITY: NZ POST A SUSTAINABLE ORGANISATION WON’T EXIST WITHOUT PEOPLE A sustainable organisation is one that simultaneously delivers on social, economic and environmental factors to ensure long term betterment for society and for organisations. Historically, sustainability practices were not a core component of business strategy. However, increasing customer and societal demands for economic, environmental and social responsibility have brought sustainability issues to the surface. Millennials entering the workforce expect their employers to be socially responsible and are increasingly conscious of the impact of organisations on the environment and society at large. Involving employees in sustainable initiatives is vital to the achievement of goals and has a ripple effect on their multiple daily interactions with internal and external stakeholders. Without everyone being part of achieving them, these goals simply won’t be met.

WHY BOTHER WITH SUSTAINABILITY? There are some serious messages internationally. In January all CEOs of the world's largest public companies received a communication from D. Fink of the investment firm BlackRock, one of the world's most influential investors. He said that to receive the support of BlackRock they needed to demonstrate that their businesses were about more than making profit, they must be contributing to society. His comment in fact was “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Within New Zealand, the latest research by Colmar Brunton states that 83% of Kiwis would stop buying a company’s products if they heard about them being irresponsible

In 2017 New Zealand’s oldest state-owned company, NZ Post, took out the top sustainability award. The company has chosen to use sustainability as a driver for change and it is paying dividends. Using NZ Post services has now become the first choice for businesses that are sustainability minded. Not only do they focus on ensuring business results, but when disaster strikes and the NZ Red Cross responds, NZ Post makes support available, including logistics, postal, banking services and volunteer mobilisation. It doesn’t matter how big or small the organisation is, whether it is a corporate or a not-for-profit, all types and size of businesses can make a success out of sustainability. In fact, the smaller the business and the earlier this approach is adopted, the easier it is to implement a sustainable practice.

ACTIONS TO TAKE TO ENSURE ALIGNMENT 1. Align sustainability to your vision, values and guiding principles; 2. Clearly communicate the sustainability agenda to your people; 3. Create and communicate the employer brand; 4. Create work that engages and motivates employees; 5. Seek input on employees’ perspectives on sustainability; 6. Create a work environment to improve performance; and 7. Intentionally foster a culture that integrates with its strategic objectives. Business leaders would have to have their head firmly in the sand not to see that today’s consumers are increasingly voting with their wallets, and choosing where possible to support brands operating with a higher purpose. Just remember, the earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth. NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 27

FINDING COMMON GROUND HOW TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITHOUT DAMAGING YOUR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS There are many ways to solve a financial dispute. But how do you decide which one will deliver the best outcome for your business, minimise stress and mitigate damage to your business relationships?


LITIGATION Going through the courts with litigation can be a tempting go-to option and is often used as a threat in early negotiations. In New Zealand there is a well-established court system that will ensure your case receives a fair hearing and that decisive justice is delivered. The District Court deals with more straightforward cases involving amounts disputed of up to $350,000. For larger sums in dispute, or where the matters are complex, there is the High Court, where either party can apply for a specialist commercial panel judge to hear and manage the case. In either scenario, if you aren’t satisfied that the ruling is fair, the Court of Appeal is a senior court that can review an unfavourable decision. However, before taking your existing and potentially future business partner to court, it may be useful to explore other options. Whilst settlement in court can offer first-class justice, it can also be very time-consuming. Sometimes litigation can take more than a year, and the overhanging uncertainty during that time can make it difficult to make future business plans. Court cases are also heard publicly, which may draw unwanted attention to your business and might reveal information you would rather keep confidential. Court action is also often highly damaging to what is already probably a strained relationship between the parties. Litigation is usually the most expensive avenue of justice. Legal and accounting fees would be incurred for any formalised dispute resolution process but, by going through the courts, these costs can run much higher — and then there are court fees on top of that. If litigation doesn’t sound like the right solution to your grievances, alternative dispute resolution options are available!

MEDIATION Mediation usually precedes litigation and is often required. This is a less formal way for parties to come to an agreement. Negotiations are conducted by the parties, their legal counsel and experts. A skilled mediator oversees talks, and instead of imposing a view on the parties, which is the case with more aggressive forms of dispute resolution, it is the mediator’s role to develop and explore settlement options. It is often more empowering for the parties to find consensus and can lead to a much better outcome for business relationships. Mediation is also confidential between parties and is often less costly. To get the most out of mediation it is helpful to have realistic expectations that you may need to settle for a sum that is

less than what you were hoping for, to avoid the lengthy and costly process of escalating your case further.

ARBITRATION Arbitration works slightly differently to litigation. Cases are kept confidential and parties have much greater control over the timeline and place than with court proceedings. In arbitration, it is common for either one arbitrator or a panel to be chosen by the disputing parties. Evidence is put forward in hearings and the outcome or ‘award’ is legally binding. The primary objectives of arbitration are to be fair, prompt and cost effective, with proceedings proportionate to the amount and complexity of the dispute. However, unlike litigation, the arbitrator’s verdict is final. Appeals can only be heard in extremely rare circumstances so there are no more options once an award has been issued.

EXPERT DETERMINATION Expert Determination gives more control over the decisionmaking process. Like arbitration, it involves an independent party deciding on the outcome of the case, usually an expert in the field in dispute (for example, an accountant). It differs to arbitration in that it is less formal and not governed by legislation. A contract is made between the parties, giving specific instructions to the expert on what they want him or her to decide, and whether they are bound to the decision. Expert determination is particularly suited for disputed sale and purchase agreements and share valuations. Unfortunately, parties sometimes cannot find common ground and are unable to settle the dispute between themselves. Everything then escalates to one of the more decisive, yet drawn out and expensive options. Prior to any external authority imposing a decision, the parties can settle between themselves at any time, and often do once they see how proceedings (and costs!) are going. When entering into a new business relationship or writing a contract with a friendly business partner, it pays to think about how you would like to resolve any dispute should things get uncomfortable down the line. You should consider a clause in a contract as to how disputes will be settled — giving you one less thing to argue over later! A bit of forward planning could save a lot of time, money, stress and help keep business relations amicable.

NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 29



The rise in managed funds has been an important part of the investment landscape over recent times. Investment in managed funds can be segmented into active and passive managers. Here's a guide to the key characteristics of an active manger that investors should look for.


N ACTIVE FUND MANAGER CONTINUOUSLY monitors the defined investment market for opportunities to protect and add value to the capital of the fund. This may be in the form of selling assets that have a risk of declining in value or purchasing assets that the manager anticipates are likely to increase in market value. In contrast, a passive manager does not actively pursue opportunities to enhance or protect the fund. The passive management philosophy adopts the position that over the long term an active manger won’t repeatedly add value over and above the general fluctuation of the market. The passive management approach assumes that it is better to be continuously invested in the market, in preference to withdrawing or entering specific market positions in response to economic conditions — either security specific or macro-economic. The passive approach is typically lower cost than an actively managed fund. Passive managers argue that the lower cost structure enhances investment returns over the long term as returns are not eroded by higher fees. What are the key characteristics that investors who are seeking an active manager should look for?

ABSENCE OF INDEX HUGGING Most active funds’ performance is benchmarked against an index. As the benchmark index is a reference point for a manager’s performance on a positive and negative basis, the manager may closely replicate the composition of the index with only minor deviation (Index hugging or closet indexing). In this situation, the portfolio is likely to reflect the index’s performance. This is a safe strategy for the manager to take as it is unlikely that the ‘active’ manager will significantly underperform the index with a large peak to trough decline in the fund’s market value (referred to as a ‘drawdown’). As well as the fund’s volatility substantially reflecting the index, the effect of index hugging is that there is minimal chance of outperformance. As the active share of the portfolio is very low the ability to outperform is also very low. To generate returns distinct from the index it is necessary for the manager to take positions that have a low correlation with the index. This approach to investment management is referred to as index unaware.

APPROPRIATE COST The manager’s costs inevitably impact on investor returns. If a manager is adopting positions that do not deviate significantly from an index, then the manager’s fee structure should not be based on an assumption that the manager is applying superior tactical and strategic portfolio management skills. This is particularly the case when an investor can access a similar investment offering at a lower cost.

PREPAREDNESS TO ACCEPT VOLATILITY AND MAINTAIN CONVICTION Volatility is the price that is paid for superior returns. An active manager is very unlikely to consistently achieve outperformance from period to period in the short term. Often investments take time to mature and achieve full potential. On this basis, investment returns will lag or may mark to market on a negative basis over the short term. A manager that shows conviction won’t be panicked into abandoning those positions they strongly believe will produce results that outperform the relevant index.

OVERLAY OF INVESTMENT JUDGEMENT Many investment managers take a quantitative approach to investment management. They use statistical analysis and the application of rules based criteria to initiate buy and sell transactions. This tool has screening benefits for an active manager, however it is unlikely that a quantitative approach can capture all of the subtleties or assess a dynamic change in factors influencing a market. Effective active management should be able to assess a change of this nature. Recently monetary easing has been of such a magnitude that the ability of an active manager to add value has been largely overwhelmed. Global monetary policy is now becoming desynchronised and this should allow active managers to create additional value.

FOCUS ON INVESTMENT FUNDAMENTALS Ultimately security values are driven by the cash flows that can be derived from them, rather than temporary sentiment or accounting conventions. A successful active manager will appreciate the importance of fundamental valuation, particularly in respect to the minimisation of downside loss potential. In more volatile markets greater opportunity should exist to look through current prices and invest for longer term wealth creation.

CULTURE Investment should be always driven by the objectives of the client, rather than that of the investment firm itself. “Client first” should be prominent in the principles and implementation of investment strategy. Tailoring the investment portfolio to client expectations and risk tolerance whether active or passive is a key consideration in the ultimate success of a strategy. Staples Rodway Asset Management is a boutique investment advisory service that specialises in providing personalised and impartial investment solutions for individuals and trusts. An adviser can be contacted at or on 0508 220 022. NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 31

Article by Nicola Hankinson NATIONAL TECHNICAL MANAGER

HIGH LIGH SUS FINA TAINA TING NCIA BILIT Y IN L RE POR TING THE RE A RE G holis R tic p erfor OWING D inves m E tors and ance info MANDS of cl the F rmat im ion, p OR more cont ate chan wider c a o inue g s to g e and s mmunit rticularly more y u row. f i Stak stainabil as aware rom iden nformati e i ty iss ness hold on a tifyin ues e b g an risks d ma out how rs are de to th m busin nag ei impa esse anding ct on r long-te ing the s k are r infor ey ris m su mati the envir s k t s a i i n n on in o a c isola nment. P bility an luding d tion r o vidi is no long ng financ er en i ough al .

NZX LEADING THE CHARGE The NZX are actively encouraging businesses to report information about what they call environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. In 2017, they updated their Corporate Governance Code to promote disclosure of ESG factors recommending that issuers: “...provide non-financial disclosure at least annually, including considering material exposure to environmental, economic and social sustainability risks and other key risks. It should explain how it plans to manage those risks and how operational or non-financial targets are measured.” The NZX suggests using a recognised international reporting framework, such as the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines or Integrated Reporting, to ensure that your business’s information can be easily compared. Smaller businesses may find it is more appropriate to select key non-financial matters to report upon rather than adopting a formal reporting framework.

DIFFERENT REPORTING FRAMEWORKS AVAILABLE There are a number of different reporting frameworks available to help you get started. These include: Financial Stability Board Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (FSB–TCFD) This provides a framework to: ƒƒ Disclose the measures used by an organisation to assess climate related risks and opportunities in line with its strategy and risk management processes ƒƒ Describe the targets used by the organisation to manage climate-related risks and opportunities and performance against targets ƒƒ Disclose greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the related risks Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Global Reporting Standards are the most widely used standard for reporting on ESG impacts. These standards are based on reporting against modules relevant to each business, such as stakeholder engagement, biodiversity, water and effluents, and waste. Integrated Reporting (<IR>) The International <IR> Framework is based on recognising six capitals (financial, manufactured, human, natural, intellectual, social and relationship) that drive the creation of business value. The focus of <IR> is on reporting what is driving the creation of value in respect of each capital, such as Sanford’s reporting their commitment to healthy oceans as a key part of its ‘natural’ capital. Sanford reports proactive initiatives such as

LEADING LIGHTS Many of New Zealand’s leading companies have adopted one of these frameworks to communicate their broader performance to stakeholders. These include: SANFORD Adopted both <IR> and the core principles of GRI in developing its 2017 Annual Report, The Power of AND. The Report focusses on how Sanford is performing and adding value now and into the future and how this drives their decision-making. NZ POST Adopted the <IR> framework to produce its 2017 Integrated Report to tell their ‘value creation story’ for the short, medium and longer terms. NZ Post provides insight into the six capitals and the material issues that influence their ability to create value using a ‘Materiality Matrix’. NZ Post was awarded supreme winner in the 2017 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards for its strong commitment to sustainability. AIR NEW ZEALAND Adopted the GRI principles to develop its 113 page dedicated 2017 Sustainability Report. The Report includes Air New Zealand’s Sustainability Framework which reports on goals, targets, activities, challenges and aspirations for each of Air New Zealand’s six target areas as well as providing links to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). THE WAREHOUSE GROUP Included within its 2017 Annual Report is the Group’s reporting on GHG emissions. The Warehouse Group achieved Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) certification in recognition of their commitment to managing and reducing its emissions.

its newly signed dolphin protection plan and reducing plastics initiative, as well as adverse events, such as the number of seabirds and marine mammals caught dead. Balanced reporting is critical to ensuring that integrated reports are not seen as marketing documents. (cntd. over) NUMBERS Autumn 2018 • 33

KEY STEPS TO GET STARTED As with most things in life, the hardest part is often getting started. Here are some ideas on how to kick-start reporting on your business’s broader performance, including longer-term sustainability information: ƒƒ Identify your stakeholders — who is likely to be interested in your business and what it is delivering in a broader sense? You would be surprised at just how wide this group is. ƒƒ Determine what your stakeholders are most interested in — ask them! In the formal reporting framework sense this is often referred to as identifying your ‘material matters’. ƒƒ Assess which ESG factors are most relevant to your business model and strategy. This will help you focus your efforts and allow you to zone in on the ‘material matters’. ƒƒ Articulate how each of these factors are likely to impact on your business. ƒƒ Develop strategic goals for each factor and then agree some more intermediate targets to help you achieve these goals. From a practical perspective it is important to narrow this down to between 3 and 6 factors to enable sufficient focus to be maintained and resources to be assigned. ƒƒ Determine the most appropriate reporting format (i.e. perhaps creating a separate report to include on your website or including broader ESG information within your Annual Report) ƒƒ Develop systems to capture data against each target area and collate information that is complete, accurate, reliable, timely and consistent. ƒƒ Report this information, ensuring that it is balanced and links back to your financial information. ƒƒ Further down the track you may want to get assurance over your reporting framework and/ or the processes used to report this information. Staples Rodway is committed to helping businesses meet the growing demands for broader sustainability and environmental performance reporting. We have a wealth of expertise in working with businesses to develop appropriate reporting frameworks. Ask your local Staples Rodway advisor on how to get started. If you are interested in achieving CEMARS, our Auckland office can help, having achieved the certification themselves in 2017. 34 • NUMBERS Autumn 2018


Article by Annette Azuma STAPLES RODWAY AUCKLAND


TAPLES RODWAY IS PASSIONATE ABOUT helping SMEs add value to their businesses. When Tenby Powell (high profile businessman, social entrepreneur and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) representative amongst other roles) gave us the opportunity to sponsor the SME LEAP Summit we jumped at the chance. I first had the privilege of meeting Tenby at the Japan NZ Business Council conference held in Osaka in November 2017. His enthusiasm and passion to help SMEs is contagious. If SME business performance was lifted by even 1% this would add around $2.1 billion to national GDP. The potential is massive. The Summit was held the day before the ABAC meeting being held in Auckland, so a number of other APEC members could share their knowledge with the 150+ delegates of many ethnicities including Maori, Pasifika, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Pakeha. Speakers included New Zealand's Minister for Small Business Stuart Nash MP, Sharon Hunter, Stephen Jacobi on revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) and Staples Rodway Managing Director David Searle — who spoke on the challenges for SMEs of meeting their compliance burdens. The afternoon session featured workshops which focused on issues facing SMEs and possible solutions. Challenges identified by participants included: ƒƒ poor access to market and trade information requirements; ƒƒ struggling to make valuable foreign connections;

L-R: Tenby Powell, Annette Azuma, Stuart Nash & Stephen Jacobi

ƒƒ r elatively higher costs of services and products for SMEs (lacking ability to negotiate for bulk etc) ƒƒ NTBs (non-tariff barriers) such as compliance costs. ƒƒ Lack of access to capital The slower than standard “20th of the next month” payment terms large corporates have is one of the surprising issues facing many SMEs. The message from the Summit is clear — dramatic change is needed. Not just an incremental advance, but a real step change embracing and carrying with it the whole sector. As a first step the goal is to create a Crown Institute for SMEs governed by a Board of Directors from the private sector to work closely with the government to make a significant difference. Staples Rodway are proud to continue to support this initiative — helping SME businesses grow, which in turn will benefit society as a whole.


97% of all enterprises

30.2% of all employees (582,000 people)

Generate approx. 28.6% of GDP

80% have never generated any overseas income




TWO NEW DIRECTORS FOR AUCKLAND OFFICE Sachin Patel and Kaison Chang have both been named Directors in the Auckland office, less than 18 months after their promotion to Associate Director and just 10 years after joining Staples Rodway as graduates in March 2008. While both have enjoyed parallel success, each specialises in a different area of the business. Sachin is an Audit and Assurance Director, specialising in auditing, financial reporting and consulting services. His clients include listed businesses across a wide range of sectors such as property, ICT, retirement and manufacturing, and he also has experience working with Staples Rodway affiliates in Australia. “Building relationships with other people is very important to me,” Sachin says. “I’ve worked really hard to demonstrate leadership and develop good relationships with my team as well as the organisations we work with.” As a business advisory specialist, Kaison excels in providing business advice to companies, trusts and high net worth individuals. He has a passion for the property sector and in helping new ventures grow strategically. He too believes that success is not created in a vacuum.

CHRISTCHURCH APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR We are delighted to announce that Matthew Shallcrass has been appointed as a Director in our Christchurch office. Matthew has more than 15 years’ experience in the industry, with a growing client base and established professional networks in Christchurch. He has previously worked in other South Island accounting practices, including 3 years in Queenstown. Since joining Staples Rodway in June 2012, he has led the implementation of a number of our firm’s business improvement initiatives and gained the respect and warm regard of our clients and staff. He prides himself on providing personal service and pragmatic advice — utilising the latest technology to drive business results. As well as being very capable and competent with day to day tax compliance matters, he is also passionate about working alongside small to medium sized business owners to help them achieve their business and lifestyle goals. When he’s not helping clients improve their businesses, he enjoys spending time with his young family, running and travel. He is also engaged in the community in a number of not-for-profit leadership roles.

36 • NUMBERS Autumn 2018

“In my career I’ve had great mentors who gave me the skills to work smarter, and the support of my family has been vital. I believe this promotion gives me the opportunity to help grow our future leaders.” Staples Rodway Auckland Managing Director David Searle says both new directors exemplify the values of the firm, encouraging others to give back to their communities and always demonstrating integrity. “We want people who demonstrate leadership, and build good relationships that make a real difference,” he says. “Sachin and Kaison have both worked really hard to become our two youngest directors, showing a commitment to our clients and our team that’s both a real inspiration to the next generation, and a tremendous asset to the business.” PICTURED BELOW (L-R): Sachin Patel,Staples Rodway Auckland Managing Director David Searle & Kaison Chang

TARANAKI PROMOTIONS Congratulations to Jed Eden, Emma Steer and Rebecca Maxim of Staples Rodway Taranaki.

Jed has worked at Staples Rodway for 8 years in the Business Advisory team and has recently been promoted to an Associate. Emma joined SRT in 2015 working in the BAS team. She was promoted to Assistant Manager in January 2017 and now has been promoted to Manager. Rebecca started with us in 2016 as head of the Taranaki Marketing team and has recently been appointed Staples Rodway Taranakiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Marketing Manager. PICTURED ABOVE (L-R): Jed Eden, Emma Steer & Rebecca Maxim

NEW WAIKATO & TAURANGA ASSOCIATES Staples Rodway Waikato is delighted to announce the promotion of Myle Leung to Associate in our Business Advisory team. This promotion reflects Myle's dedication to a wide variety of clients in the rural, commercial and investment areas while also leading practice development initiatives for the firm. Myle also engages positively with the local business community and has developed a wider professional network to ensure clients receive the best possible service through being associated with Staples Rodway.

NEW AUCKLAND BOARD CHAIRMAN Head of Tax Andrew Dickeson has been appointed as the new Board Chairman in the Auckland office.

Congratulations to Fiona Welten and Shanan Symes in our Tauranga Business Advisory Team, who have been working in the organisation for 28 years and 13 years respectively and have both been promoted from Senior Manager to Associate. PICTURED BELOW (L-R): Myle Leung, Fiona Welten & Shanan Symes

NUMBERS Autumn 2018 â&#x20AC;˘ 37

AUCKLAND Level 9, 45 Queen St PO Box 3899 Auckland 1140 Phone 64 9 309 0463 Fax 64 9 309 4544

WAIKATO 4th Floor, BNZ Building 354 Victoria Street PO Box 9159 Hamilton 3240 Phone 64 7 834 6800 Fax 64 7 838 2881

TAURANGA Level 1, 247 Cameron Road PO Box 743 Tauranga 3140 Phone 64 7 578 2989 Fax 64 7 577 6030

HAWKE'S BAY Cnr. Hastings and Eastbourne Streets PO Box 46 Hastings 4156 Phone 64 6 878 7004 Fax 64 6 876 0078

NEW PLYMOUTH 109â&#x20AC;&#x201C;113 Powderham Street PO Box 146 New Plymouth 4340 Phone 64 6 757 3155 Fax 64 6 757 5081

STRATFORD 78 Miranda Street PO Box 82 Stratford 4352 Phone 64 6 765 6949 Fax 64 6 765 8342

WELLINGTON Level 6, 95 Customhouse Quay PO Box 1208 Wellington 6140 Phone 64 4 472 7919 Fax 64 4 473 4720

CHRISTCHURCH Level 2, Tavendale Centre 329 Durham Street North PO Box 8039 Christchurch 8440 Phone 64 3 343 0599 Fax 64 3 348 0186

Staples Rodway NUMBERS Autumn 2018  

THE SUSTAINABILITY ISSUE - PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFIT Mission Estate Winery | Tax considerations of an EV fleet | Dairy Trust | How to manage a...

Staples Rodway NUMBERS Autumn 2018  

THE SUSTAINABILITY ISSUE - PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFIT Mission Estate Winery | Tax considerations of an EV fleet | Dairy Trust | How to manage a...