"We need to do capitalism better” John Berry
Last night organisations and individuals from across Auckland came together for the 21st Sustainable Business Network Awards. The awards recognise New Zealanders working towards a sustainable future through innovation to address climate change, rebuilding resilient natural systems, reducing waste and building greener supply chains. The ceremony was held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and hosted by Te Radar.
Pathfinder won three awards on the night including the supreme Transforming Aotearoa New Zealand Award – the first time a company or person has pulled off a triple win. Other awards included the Sustainability Superstar Award, awarded to CEO, John Berry and the Communicating for Impact Award.
Transforming Aotearoa New Zealand Award
This award is selected from all 73 finalists. It’s presented to an organisation that is performing outstandingly well in all aspects of sustainability.
The Judges said “To win the Supreme Award, all the elements must come together: the vision for a sustainable future, dedication to ethical practice, and products that offer a far better alternative to the status quo. Then there’s the X factor: impact. Pathfinder Asset Management delivers on all fronts. It has its own house in order and offers compelling products that are both financially competitive and meet the highest ethical standards.
But it’s the impact that really gives Pathfinder the edge. Under John Berry’s leadership, Pathfinder has been a tireless champion of ethical investing and convinced cynical investors to redirect many millions of dollars into companies that make a positive difference. Pathfinder's success couldn’t have happened at a more critical moment - when sustainability is under threat from greenwashing and governments under pressure to cut corners. Pathfinder is demonstrating that 'people, planet and profit' is not just a good idea, it’s the most credible plan for business, citizens and Aotearoa. Congratulations from all the judges”.
Sustainability Superstar Award:
Pathfinder CEO and co-founder John Berry, won the Sustainability Superstar award. Presented to a person who has gone above and beyond to bring about sustainability change in Aotearoa, progressing social and/or environmental action, either within their organisation or in the wider community.
The Judges said “John's determination and appetite for risk is founded on a belief that the market would eventually reward his core commitment: that money can be used as a weapon for punishing bad actors and reward the good. It's that commitment and pure grit that has led to his outsized impact and makes him a sustainability superstar. John has been a leader in growing the ethical investing movement through Pathfinder and more broadly. Others have followed, building on Pathfinder's record of pushing the boundaries while earning high financial returns for clients. He is also generous with his time and advice, building public awareness and contributing to the wider community."
Communicating for Impact Award
This award was presented to an organisation that is communicating sustainability through effective use of communication channels and audiences to make a tangible impact. Judges said “Pathfinder's campaign continues its determined and deliberate effort to make an impact on investing and the footprint of global businesses. Thoughtful, clever, and authentic, it used the right messages to the right audiences in the right channels to create a coherent and compelling campaign.
Our campaign consists of communicating to businesses around improving the way we all do capitalism. To the finance industry to encourage investing in better and with values, and to New Zealanders about the impact they can have by choosing how to invest their money.
Awards and recognition – what do they mean?
Remarkably, Pathfinder was also named 22nd in Deloitte Fast 50 Index on the same night - highlighting that you can grow purpose and profit.
For Pathfinder these awards are recognition that our determination to activate a movement towards investing in better is getting noticed. Fortunately for all of us in New Zealand, we are seeing a huge cultural shift in what Kiwi’s care about. People are starting to wake up to the idea that you can make a difference by choosing where to spend your time, choosing where to spend your money and choosing where to invest your money.
As John Berry said on the night “I want to acknowledge the 73 other finalists; you are all doing impactful work and it often takes sacrifice and bravery to do the right thing.”
Congratulations to all the other award winners, runner ups and finalists who are all working towards a better future. We encourage you to them and support SBN. As SBN CEO Rachel Brown ONZM and columnist Rod Oram both pointed out, we are currently seeing the effects of climate change, which makes it even more critical to support businesses who aren’t ignoring this reality or, better yet, working to support adaptation or mitigation.
Pathfinder is forever grateful to Rachel and her team at SBN for the incredible mahi they do to help businesses, communities and individuals pave the way towards a better future. It was through the SBN Leadership in Sustainable Business course that the idea for Pathfinder KiwiSaver grew.
“The SBN Leadership course I completed in 2018 gave Paul and I the self-belief to be bold and launch our KiwiSaver including our social enterprise model that supports charities” says John. “I encourage all of you to stick to your mission, if it gets tough, reach out – this community is like no other, when one of us win, we all do. And if you get stuck – join up, take a course, let’s keep supporting SBN and their valuable work.”
Pathfinder has over $600 million invested ethically, a strong performance track record, and a reputation for challenging the finance industry to do better. We’ll keep going on our mission to generate individual wealth and collective well-being as we’re proving you don't have to compromise on either.
We believe every dollar invested in better will make a positive difference to the future of people, our planet and animals.