Why Kiwis buy sustainable products and services… and why they don’t

What’s driving the Kiwi consumer to buy sustainable products and services? And what are the barriers to purchasing?

This was a big focus in the latest NZ State of the Nation consumer outlook report Q2 2023 by NeilsenIQ. The report considers sustainability a key market trend as the impacts and costs of climate change are increasingly felt across society.

For sustainable brands and B Corps, there are some interesting insights to glean, so we’ve summarised a few points here.

First up, 76% of Kiwis surveyed believe climate change and sustainability are linked and 54% of these people say that sustainability has become more important in the last two years.

Why do Kiwis believe sustainability has become more important? According to this report, it’s because 69% say they see the impact of climate change in the news regularly.

As well,

  • 57% say that leaving a liveable world behind for future generations has become more important.
  • 52% believe products and services have become more expensive because of extreme climate events.
  • 41% are noticing more pollution and waste in their surroundings.
  • 36% feel their personal health and safety could be impacted by climate change.
  • 48% feel more informed about climate change and sustainability.

Business has to step up

Another telling figure is that 64% of people believe it is very important for companies to take the initiative to reduce their environmental footprint. In the same vein, it’s sustainable packaging claims that most resonate with consumers (aka ‘people’).

The study found that people are more likely to buy sustainable if it had a benefit for their health or the planet. As well, more than 70% of people would most likely stop purchasing a brand that was found guilty of greenwashing. Let that sink in. More than 70% of people would most likely stop purchasing a brand that was found guilty of greenwashing.

What were the barriers to people living a more sustainable life? Three things: cost, limited choice, and confusing messaging.

So, if a sustainable product was seen as too expensive, 56% of those surveyed would not buy it. How do you address this if you’re a sustainable brand that costs more than cheaper, unsustainable alternatives? Justify and explain why it costs more. As well, be clear with your messaging and information because 28% of people say they don’t buy sustainable products because the messaging isn’t clear.

So how to move forward as a sustainable brand?

This survey suggests several actions:

  • Ensure your range offers value to help ease the on-going pressures consumers are feeling; optimise your pricing and promo strategies.
  • Be the consumers’ choice by offering a unique experience and/or value proportion – in other words, prove your worth against the competition.
  • Resonate with the consumer using clear messaging on what is sustainable about your product and how it benefits them.

Sustainability is a key future theme

Sustainability is here to stay as a key market trend. This is only going to grow. Why?

The impacts and costs of climate change are being felt across society.

From 1980 to 1999, there were 3656 climate related disasters that cost $1.63 trillion to address. From 2000 to 2019, these figures almost doubled, with 6682 climate-related disasters costing almost $3 trillion to address.

Governance and cost will accelerate this shift beyond consumer demand.

There are 3 key forces driving business to change

  1. Role of governance and mandates: Financial reporting requirements, sustainable investments, fines and taxes, new legislations.
  2. Exploding costs due to the impact of climate change: Rising energy prices, rising cost of goods, supply chain disruption.
  3. Escalating consumer demand: Cost of living stress, personal impact, availability of choice, shifting values and attitudes.

Around the world, countries are at very different stages of sustainable progress. Some markets have fallen back to carbon intensive habits to recharge economies while other have ramped up investment in renewable energy. Top five green leaders are Iceland, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. While the bottom five are Bangladesh, Qatar, Zambia, Algeria, and Iran.

New Zealand sits just below the middle of the spectrum, dragging the chain a little, which relegates the nation to the ‘climate laggards’ section.

We need to lift our game in a big way. We can’t wait for government to act (but we still need to push them on that). The business sector has the resources, initiative and creativity to find solutions to the world’s biggest problems. Let’s get on with it.

One route is by becoming a B Corp business.

Become a B Corp

Here at Grow Good, we exist to coach people through the process of becoming B Corp certified.

The B Corp Impact Assessment framework  is free to access and provides dozens of useful insights and opportunities for any business but it can be confusing and overwhelming.

We are consultants who have completed the official training provided by B Lab, the organisation that runs the B Corp certification programme. We live, breathe and sleep B Corp. We are your B Corp buddies. We make it easier. We translate the questions into plain English and give you a host of template policies and example documents so you don’t have to start everything from scratch or reinvent the wheel. We show you how to unlock the big point scoring areas most relevant to your business.

Are you ready to go B Corp? It’s completely your decision but if you are, and if you think it would be helpful to have a guiding hand through the process, we’re here to help. Drop us a line or jump straight in and book a free 30 min discovery call with me.

Yours in purpose,

Ngā manaakitanga,



Are you Ready to B Better?

Ready to take the plunge towards becoming a B Corp business? Let the Grow Good team guide you through the process either through 1:1 coaching or group coaching on one of our regular cohort programmes for micro businesses. Book a 30-min discovery call with Tamara here.

You can use your Business as a Force for Good.

Just get started. Take the first step. Get in touch

Kiwis don’t want their pensions to trash the planet (like, duh)

Guess what, here’s a news flash that isn’t really a news flash. Turns out that New Zealand investors want to do well and do good with their money, a new study has found.

Finally! The lie we’ve been sold about how we can only drive profit through suffering, extraction, and destruction is being unveiled as the insidious propaganda that it is.

It’s similar to the lie we’ve been sold about how businesses can only be ‘successful’ (ie profitable for shareholders) if they exploit in some way, be it pay low wages, belch greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, or pretend the plastic waste they create is unavoidable and not their problem.

It’s BS.

In truth, businesses that are a force for good in the world do better than those that aren’t. A Neilson study has found businesses with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability have grown by more than four per cent globally, as opposed to those without growing less than one per cent.

But we don’t get told this. Instead, we get told that we must accept there is a trade-off between ethical investing and earning good returns.

Oh no’, we are told. ‘I’m sorry but if you want your investment and pension funds to grow then you have to invest in companies that use slave and child labour, and that don’t pay fairly for resources, and that leave behind pollution… I know, it’s unfortunate but you have no choice if you want to have any money for your old age, you don’t want to be broke and homeless in your old age do you?…


Because it’s actually the very opposite. Just as we create more scarcity and inequality by supporting scarcity and inequality; we also create more true prosperity and abundance for all by supporting true prosperity and abundance for all.

For decades, we’ve turned a blind eye to our investment funds and pension funds being used to support industries like oil, gas, weapons of war, deforestation, tobacco, and so on, because we were told we ‘had to’ if we wanted to have a healthy retirement pot.

Shock, horror. It’s a massive lie that has caused us to fund the very industries that are destroying the planetary ecosystems upon which our lives utterly depend. At best, this unpalatable truth is kept secret. I bet most Kiwis have no idea that $68 million of our collective KiwiSaver funds and investment funds are invested in companies driving deforestation.

At last, more people are no longer falling for it and no longer standing for it, according to a new report by both Mindful Money and the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA).

The research found that almost three quarters of New Zealanders (74%) expect their investments to be managed ethically and responsibly. The number of people willing to move their funds if the investments do not align with their values has increased to 59% (+4%).

And despite this being a time where we have high levels of financial uncertainty and volatility, not only is consumer demand for ethical investing gain momentum but there is growing interest in investing for positive impact.


One of the most significant findings from this survey is the increase in consumer interest in investing for positive impact, both through dedicated funds and within mainstream ethical and responsible funds.

A growing number of New Zealanders understand that investment has real world impacts, including on issues such as climate change, and they are interested in funds that can demonstrate positive impacts.

Consumers want to know what types of companies are in their portfolios, and they are more likely to choose ethical and responsible funds that have independent certification.

The survey also shows that consumers don’t believe the old myths of a trade-off between ethical investing and earning good returns. 45% expect ethical and responsible investments to perform better in the long term (up by 5% from 2022) while 45% see the relationship as neutral.

This is consistent with a large and growing evidence base, including for Australian and New Zealand investment funds, using comparative returns between ethical/responsible funds and traditional funds.

Any business that cannot make money without exploiting in some way, shape or form is a failure. A lazy, short-sighted and egregious failure and, finally, as a society we’re beginning to see that and we are demanding that the business sector pull its socks up.


Kia kaha



Are you Ready to B Better?

Ready to take the plunge towards becoming a B Corp business? Let the Grow Good team guide you through the process either through 1:1 coaching or group coaching on one of our regular cohort programmes. Book a 30-min discovery call with Tamara here.


Earth Day 2023 – Invest in our Planet (even from your sofa)

Heads up people, Earth Day is happening this month on 22 April.

What’s Earth Day you ask? It’s annual event that started in 1970 aimed at celebrating the achievements of the environmental movement as well as to raise awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations.

Earth Day is now recognised by 193 countries, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

What do people get up to on Earth Day? A whole range of things from community clean-ups to turning lights off, upcycling flea markets, tree plantings, nature meditations, a climate change puppet show, and much more. For ideas and an Earth Day toolkit, go to on For a global events map, to see what’s happening near you, see here. But guess what, you can also get involved without even getting off the sofa, see the list of ‘sofa-based activism’ suggestions below.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Invest In Our Planet, which highlights the importance of investing our time, resources, and energy to solving climate change and other environmental issues.

Investing in our planet is necessary to protect it and the best way to pave a path towards a prosperous future. When we Invest In Our Planet together, we are supporting healthy, happy, and wealthy communities worldwide.

Check out Earth Day’s Action toolkit to get involved:

Among the initiatives of this year’s Earth Day, there’s a call for a global plastics treaty; a movement to promote climate literacy to create a generation of citizens, workers, students, and leaders ready for climate change; a massive effort on tree planting, and a call for big change in the fashion industry..

On a larger scale, Earth Day serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility we have to protect our planet. Governments and businesses have a critical role to play in creating policies and practices that promote sustainability and protect our natural resources. By holding leaders accountable and advocating for change, we can create a more sustainable future for all.


Want to save the world from your sofa? Here’s a few super easy actions you can take:

  1. End Plastic Pollution 

Sign this petition calling for a global plastics treaty:

Why? Plastic pollution is one of the most fundamental issues threatening the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems worldwide. Micro-plastics are found everywhere, from mountaintops to the deepest oceans – and even inside our bodies. Unfortunately, addressing the crisis is beyond the ability of any single country, and despite the growing global consensus, no multilateral efforts have existed to combat this issue until now. Sign the treaty.

  1. Join the Earth Day Social Squad and impact from the comfort of your chair

What’s a Social Squad? As part of the Social Squad, you’ll receive emails once a week with a post to share on your own Facebook and Twitter. With just a couple of clicks, you can spread the word. Sharing, liking and commenting on Earth Day posts pushes them to the top of the social media feeds, which then allows Earth Day to reach more people. Your clicks directly support the environmental movement. Join Earth Day social squad.

  1. Update Your Social Media Profile Picture

Click here for a customizable free graphic template on Canva. You can access the graphic template via any browser and create your new profile picture.

  1. As little as $1 can plant a tree

Home to about 80% of the world’s biodiversity, forests are collectively the second biggest storehouse of carbon after oceans, absorbing significant amounts of greenhouse gasses. They also enhance biodiversity, while protecting waterways, enhancing soil nutrition, and providing buffers from natural disasters.

The Canopy Project  is Earth Day’s tree planting project and since 2010, millions of trees have been planted. Earth Day works with global partners to reforest areas in dire need of rehabilitation, including areas with some of the world’s communities most at-risk from climate change and environmental degradation. They have also conducted broad tree planting in the wake of environmental disasters. Go on, give them a few dollars.

Click here:

  1. Frock off to Fast fashion

The fashion industry must change. The industry is responsible for 10% of all carbon emissions. Textile processing consumes 20% of global wastewater. It pollutes rivers, streams and ground water with high levels of pesticides and harsh chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic. 60% of all clothing is made of polyester and contains microplastics. Washing garments made of polyester and other synthetics accounts for 35% of the ocean’s microplastics. Apparel companies conservatively produce 100 billion garments per year; less than 1% of clothing is recycled; 40 million tons of textiles (87% of clothing) are disposed of in landfills or incinerated.

Join the call to demand change in fashion. Click here:

  1. Finally, send a letter to your government representative and Vote Earth 

Click here:

In conclusion, Earth Day is an important event that reminds us of the urgent need to protect our planet. By making sustainable choices in our daily lives, participating in local events and initiatives, and advocating for change on a larger scale, we can work together to restore and protect the earth for generations to come. Let us all do our part in ensuring that our planet remains a beautiful and livable place for all living beings.

Kia kaha



Are you Ready to B Better?

Ready to take the plunge towards becoming a B Corp business? Let the Grow Good team guide you through the process either through 1:1 coaching or group coaching on one of our regular cohort programmes. 

Don’t wait to be a better business, get on with it now. The planet depends on it.

Here at Grow Good, it’s our job to help businesses become B Corp certified. Because the process can be confusing and daunting. We translate it, break it down, offer resources to make it as manageable as possible. If your business is ready to go B Corp, give us a shout or book in a discovery call.



#InvestInOurPlanet #EarthDay #EarthDayEveryDay #ClimateChange #Environment #Sustainability #TakeAction #ItsNotADayItsAMovement #TheGreatGlobalCleanup #TheCanopyProject #FashionForTheEarth #VoteEarth #GreenCities #ClimateLiteracy

AXA exec bonuses linked to decarbonisation

Boom! There it is. Finally! Companies are starting to link the pay and bonuses of their managers and execs to climate goals like decarbonisation. And it’s not just happening in the ethical, organic, ‘right on’ companies, it’s happening amongst the big hitters of the global finance and investment industry like AXA Investment Managers.

It was big news when global asset management firm AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) announced last week that it will begin including ESG targets in the incentive compensation packages for senior executives, including goals focused on reducing the carbon footprint of investment portfolios.

The compensation policy will apply to about 400 senior executives at the firm. It will focus primarily on portfolio decarbonization, with 75 per cent of the ESG portion of deferred compensation tied to targets to reduce carbon intensity in the corporate portfolio by 25 per cent by 2025 for AXA IM Core employees, or to have 50 per cent of the real estate portfolio to be aligned to the Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) trajectories by 2025 for AXA IM Alts employees. The remaining 25 per cent of the ESG portion will be linked to AXA IM’s interim target to reduce its corporate operational CO2 footprint by 26 per cent by 2025.

Road to net-zero

This is part of AXA IM’s aim to be net zero by 2050. As well as just being delighted by the evidence of a real global shift in priorities, I am also happy to see that this falls in line with related questions in the B Corp impact assessment (BIA). B Lab have long been urging companies to link worker KPIs with social and environmental goals. It is happening. Praise be.

AXA IM’s new remuneration policy was announced alongside the launch of the its new ‘AXA IM for Progress Monitor’, a new initiative to transparently communicate AXA IM’s progress towards its goal to become a net zero as a business and investor by 2050, including publication of key metrics on its website. The chosen metrics were selected based on their material contributions to AXA IM’s goals, and include the firm’s coal exposure, carbon intensity, real estate decarbonisation, operational carbon footprint, climate-focused engagement and natural capital solutions investments.

Marco Morelli, Executive Chairman of AXA IM, said:

“As we further put sustainability at the heart of everything we do, we believe transparency and regular reporting on our progress and the challenges we may face is crucial. This is not something new at AXA IM but with the launch of the AXA IM for Progress Monitor, we are choosing to visibly position our non-financial targets alongside our financial ones and to increasingly onboard our organisation to make our employees a part of our sustainability journey. Our adjusted deferred remuneration policy which falls within this objective is key to achieve our objectives and effect change, on the road to net zero and beyond.”

Tipping point

There is now huge momentum building for businesses to no longer consider only the monetary gain of shareholders. I mean, look where that nonsense has got us (mass extinctions and extreme weather anyone?). The call is for all businesses to be a force for good. Working to be the best for the world, not the best in the world. Which is at the very heart of being a B Corp.

Here at Grow Good, it’s our job to help businesses become B Corp certified. Because the process can be confusing and daunting. We translate it, break it down, offer resources to make it as manageable as possible. If your business is ready to go B Corp, give us a shout or book in a discovery call.

Kia kaha




Are you Ready to B Better?

Don’t wait to be a better business, get on with it now. The planet depends on it.

Feeling like you’re ready to B Better and want to see if we can help? Well then let’s have a chat! Book a call here –