We care about our friends and whanau and consumers want to support businesses that do as well.

What is community?

Communities play an important role in every aspect of our lives. Being a part of a community gives us opportunities to connect with people and the planet. A healthy community recognises and celebrates our diversity as well as our similarities. This extends beyond the immediate communities in which we live and work, into the communities connecting and influencing our suppliers. Some of the relevant topics within this issue are meaningful and secure employment, a living wage, inequality, diversity and inclusion, charity activity, and supporting local business.

Why is it important?

Businesses are not separate to communities - they operate within them. Building strong connections with the communities in which you operate helps your business to thrive.   By proactively connecting within your community, you can show that you understand their needs and concerns, and are working with them to make it better. Business can have an important role in this process, helping to bring people from a range of backgrounds together to connect, share ideas, and common goals.  Business should also be reflective of the communities that they serve. The rise of purpose-led businesses is an illustration of this trend - these businesses are integrating wider social and environmental topics into their business models. This gives the community a sense of connection and of contributing to a greater good. By first ensuring that basic needs are being met, they unlock the potential of their staff and wider community to innovate and try new things, new experiences, and building their networks further. Cooperative and Social Enterprise are two models in this space. Similar to the other issues, it is not sensible for your business to try to act on all topics of relevance for your community. To make progress, you should identify those topics of most relevance for your business, and then focus on those in order to drive more impact.

How to measure it:

Measuring social and community impact can be quite challenging in comparison with environmental impacts. This is mostly due to difficulties in definition of what is being measured, interpreting the results, and informing the next steps. Often, measuring the inputs e.g. money or time donated, is easier than measuring the impact of those inputs e.g. number of people lifted out of poverty. Regardless, your business should have an idea of which topics are most relevant, and a way to measure your progress on each one. You can think of your business’ engagement with the community as occurring at three different levels: your direct employee community, the community in which your business operates, and the community in which your suppliers (and their suppliers) operate. Measurement of progress will be easiest within your direct operations - there are also a number of independent certifications that can strengthen your approach and ability to communicate externally on what you are doing. Measurement of community aspects in your supply chain is generally the most challenging area, but again there are a number of independent certifications available to help with this, particularly for industries with known supply chain risks e.g. fashion.

Consumer Insights

It can sometimes feel like there are thousands of things you can do, but you don't know where to start! Check our these insights and download your free industry report to help prioritise what action to take:

Case Studies

Planning changes to your business can sometimes feel a bit daunting. But fear not, there are many others that have already taken action! Hopefully their stories will inform and inspire you (and you can filter by your industry or a theme using drop downs above):

Karma Drinks

Karma Drinks believes that what you drink should not only taste good, but it should be good for the land, good for the people who grow their ingredients, and as good for you as a fizzy drink can be.

The Good Registry

The Good Registry was established to simplify giving, help good causes and reduce waste by providing Kiwis with opportunities to donate to a range of causes instead of unwanted gifts. 

Westpac Living Wage

Westpac New Zealand is a banking and financial services company that is built on helping people and businesses achieve their financial goals.


Right, so you're ready to take action! One of the best ways to do this, is through accreditation schemes verify the positive impact you or your suppliers are having. Remember, you can select your industry/ issue to filter the 100+ accreditors. Choice!

Living Wage

When it comes to advocating for a fairer pay across Aotearoa, Living Wage Aoteaora is leading the cause. 


The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) sets out to demystify responsible and ethical investing.


The Fairtrade Foundation needs no introduction - suffice to say that they're a globally recognised powerhouse who have been tackling social issues.

Beauty without Bunnies

PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies program is the ultimate resource for conscientious shoppers, making the quest for humane products as easy as (vegan) pie.


Responsible Down Standard inspires and equips people to accelerate sustainable practices in the textile value chain. We focus on minimizing the harmful impacts of the global textile industry and maximizing its positive effects.


The Global Traceable Down Standard (Global TDS) ensures that down in garments and other household and commercial products comes from a responsible source that respects animal welfare and can be transparently traced.

Leaping Bunny

This is the Standard by which we certify all US and Canadian based companies that apply for Leaping Bunny certification, published in its entirety. 

Fair For Life

Fair for Life brand holder companies commit to fair sourcing practices and responsibilities towards their primary producers down the commodity chain.

Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA is building an innovative model of responsible business, conscious consumerism, and enable sustainable development for farmers, workers, their families, and their communities around the world.

Good Weave

Good Weave are an award-winning team of business-minded experts and advocates for social change dedicated to ending child labor, forced labor, and bonded labor in global supply chains.

NZ Made

NZ Made trademark signifies that a product or service is New Zealand Made according to the rules of the Fair Trading Act.

NZ Coop

Cooperative Business New Zealand represents New Zealand's diverse range of member-owned businesses that sit across multiple sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, banking, financial services, utilities, education, health, wholesale and retail.

NZ Vegan Society

NZ Vegan Society offers businesses the opportunities to connect to a vegan customer base and vice versa through our business membership.

NZ Vegetarian Society

Vegan Certified products carry the Vegan Certified NZVS trademark. When you see this symbol, you can be sure the product is 100% free of animal products. By being members of the NZ Vegetarian Society these companies support the work we do.

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