Our sustainability aims
Dr Richard Gordon
As a national science organisation Landcare Research has sustainability aims that cover both the contribution our science makes to society and the way in which we deliver that contribution. The aims of our work are defined by the New Zealand national outcomes set for Landcare Research by our government shareholder. All of our science and technology developments address matters of sustainability in our natural resources, whether measuring ecological state and understanding process and trend, or supporting the development and implementation of natural resource policies and sustainable good business practice. As a business we endeavour to apply sustainable practice and challenge ourselves to improve our performance, which we report publicly.
Landcare Research published its first sustainability report in 2000. Since 2001, we have published a fully integrated, printed annual report covering all dimensions of our performance; and in 2007 we moved our detailed sustainability reporting to the web to provide more comprehensive and less paper-consuming coverage. We continue to monitor, set targets for, and report on key aspects of our economic, social, and environmental performance, including the direct impacts of our business (e.g. resource use) and indirect impacts through the application of our science. We use the GRI framework to guide our reporting, and on our website, report in detail against the G3 guidelines plus additional indicators that are material to our Landcare Research’s activities.
Sustainability is linked to corporate social responsibility (CSR) – the responsibility of an organisation to society for its actions – and is more than just visible programmes of good citizenship. Our sustainability aims are a reflection of values and philosophies that are embedded in our organisation and evidenced in day–to–day activities. Our approach to sustainability goes beyond the focus on our business (science for sustainable outcomes) to how we do business, how we engage with our stakeholders including our own staff, and how we add value to society and the natural environment.
We are ever mindful that our work will never be complete. Like any organisation, we face conflicting demands for our limited resources. We need to balance our primary investment in science discovery with the application of this new knowledge to provide a sound evidence base for policy, improved management practice, more skilled people, and the delivery of products and services that will improve environmental performance. This includes the way we operate. We are committed to balanced, transparent reporting of material issues across all our activities. We have robust internal processes to ensure our data are accurate and comparable between years, and put in place internal quality processes to support evidence–based reporting. Our carbon neutral status, environmental management certification and Workplace Safety Management Practices accreditation are all externally audited.
Dr Richard Gordon