Million Metres brings together a unique combination of public donations, local authority expertise and support from businesses. Here’s the latest on how Kiwi brands are backing the restoration of New Zealand’s waterways.
Businesses in New Zealand want to stand proud on where their products and services come from. It helps motivate staff and attract more customers. Now some of the most forward thinking businesses around are backing Million Metres.
We can’t be proud of our waterways right now, but we can be proud of how we are stepping up to improve things. All organisations joining the Sustainable Business Network automatically donate 5% of their membership fee to Million Metres. So far more than 30 SBN member businesses are donating in this way. In addition, more than 20 businesses have given directly to Million Metres projects this year.
Tourism is particularly sensitive to water quality decline. Holidaymakers don’t expect to see signs warning that rivers and lakes are too toxic to swim in. Jucy and Wilderness are both taking action. In New Zealand, their customers can donate to SBN’s Million Metres project on top of their vehicle hire. So far Jucy has raised more than $11,000. Jucy staff also helped by volunteering at a recent planting day with the Whau River Catchment Trust in Auckland. They made a great video of the occasion.
Fleet companies have also been great supporters of what we do. Fleetpartners and Leaseplan have both generously supported Million Metres. LeasePlan has facilitated the engagement of large companies in Million Metres, including Century Yuasa Batteries and Veolia. They join the outstanding support from companies like Apex and 3R.
Thanks to a partnership with Exhibit Group, Million Metres now has a state of the art event stand. It will use this to spread its message at events up and down the country in 2017. Exhibit Group is contributing 10% of all first time sales with SBN members to Million Metres. And it’s donating directly to stream planting via the sale of Ecowai bottled water.
New Zealand-based toilet paper start-up smartass is also getting involved. Launched in August, smartass sells toilet tissue made from sugarcane and bamboo fibres. It is free from bleach, inks, dyes and perfume. The aim is to reduce deforestation and water pollution. For every carton sold smartass will be planting a tree with Million Metres.
Finally, just recently we celebrated securing additional funding from Auckland Council. This will be used to accelerate the promotion of more waterway restoration projects across the Auckland region.
Georgina Hart, Million Metres project lead, says: “It's going to take all of us working together to solve the water quality crisis, so it's great to see so many businesses leading the way."