The End of Plastic as We Know It - SBN's Annual Conference
Empowering NZ businesses and acting on plastic:
We are in the middle of a worldwide movement away from the waste and pollution of discarding fossil fuel-derived plastics. It is having profound impacts throughout every business and sector. This is an exciting time of innovation, where opportunities await those getting ahead of the curve.
New Zealand's relative remoteness and small scale provide unique challenges, yet our internationally heralded innovations make huge waves. We have the opportunity to lead the world. This is especially true with regards to new materials development and packaging use.
The Sustainable Business Network is hosting this special event. Together business leaders and experts will take an in-depth look at this issue. We will explore what it means for your business and for sustainable business in New Zealand.
The day will provide you with the practical information and inspiration you need to thrive in the emerging low carbon circular economy. We will touch on design, science, practical and creative solutions both to stepping away from - and creatively incorporating - plastics. Unrivalled networking opportunities will give you the system-wide connections you need to succeed.
To see the full programme, go
Who it’s for
The NZ business community. The people at the heart of creating a new thriving sustainable economy – SMEs, social enterprise, government, SBN members. Connecting solutions providers, innovators and entrepreneurs, youth, expertise and those ready to take action.
The speakers are leaders in plastics innovation and the circular economy. They include:
- Phil Somerville – former Hollywood stuntman, in 2018 Phil sailed across the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Phil is an environmentalist, actor, sailor and philanthropist. His Pacific expedition gathered data on ocean-based microplastics, often in remote locations, while filming a documentary called
Eat Less Plastic.
- Minister Eugenie Sage - Minister for Conservation and Associate Minister for the Environment
- David Trubridge – renowned NZ furniture and lighting designer. David is instigator of the trend of 'raw sophistication' and environmentally responsible design. He recently removed products containing high levels of plastics from production.
- Barbara Nebel - CEO thinkstep Australasia, Barbara translates sustainability into traditional business language, delivering strategy, materiality and Life Cycle assessments; she also contributed significantly to the development of international standards for carbon footprinting.
- Brianne West - Entrepreneur and biochemist, Brianne West is the Founder of Ethique, a plastic-free beauty company. So far Ethique has prevented the manufacture and disposal of more than 3.3 million plastic containers worldwide.
- Professor Juliet Gerrard - Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. Juliet’s research cuts across biochemistry, chemistry, health, agricultural and food science and biomaterial design.
- Dr Florian Graichen - Science Leader for Scion’s circular bioeconomy science and innovation. Florian works on biobased polymers and chemicals, to solve new product and process challenges.
- Rui Peng - Director and Founder of Critical Things, a social enterprise focused on environmental sustainability through waste reduction while creating local employment opportunities.
- Nada Piatek – Founder of Again Again, innovating new systems to tackle single-use consumer behaviour, for convenient takeaway coffee without the landfill.
- Peter Thorne - General Manager Business Development of Reclaim, navigate the ever-changing recycling climate to ensure that all products collected retain their integrity.
- Kelly McClean - Sustainable Packaging Project Manager of Foodstuffs. Kelly is working to help drive change across the co-operative towards reusable, recyclable and compostable packaging.
- Kath Dewar - Founder of GoodSense, an ethical marketer with over 25 years’ experience shaping marketing into a profession that serves society and nature, as well as an organisation’s stakeholders.
- Louise Nash - Founder of Circularity, and former Chief Strategy Officer, Louise empowers businesses and organisations to make a shift from a linear to a circular model, while unlocking greater economic value.
- Rachel Brown ONZM, CEO Sustainable Business Network. The founder of SBN, Rachel has played a critical role in advancing sustainable business for 20 years.
- James Griffin, General Manager Projects and Advisory, Sustainable Business Network. James is leading SBN’s work to accelerate the circular economy in New Zealand.
- Early-morning guided walk to the opening of the conference. Start your day by joining us for an invigorating walk from Aotea Square to ASB Waterfront Theatre, experiencing the rhythms of the waking city while taking part in an early morning citizen science project.
- Three breakout sessions at GridAKL, Lysaght Building - Circularity, Marketing and Cradle to Cradle.
- The day's catering.
Additional activity: Ocean Plastics Field Trip
After spending the previous day immersed in revolutionising the plastics system, we invite you to learn up-close about what happens to plastics when they travel down through our landscape and end up in our freshwater and marine ecosystems.
SBN have partnered with Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari to take you on a deep dive into ocean plastics out on the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.
You'll hear from expert speakers on the local-to-global scale of the impacts of plastics in the ocean. Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari's Ocean Health Module will get you up close and personal with what's actually in the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.
- Devina Shetty: Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland
- Camden Howitt: Co-Founder, Sustainable Coastlines
- Phil Jones: Gulf X programme Lead, Sustainable Business Network
Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari won the Restoring Nature award at the 2018 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards. They put marine conservation and responsible tourism at the heart of everything they do.
The Ocean Plastics Field Trip will take place on Tuesday 27 August from 8.45am-12.30pm. The trip is out on the Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari boat. Buy your tickets as a separate add-on to the price of the conference.
Tickets: Please note that unless the situation is dire, there will be no refunds issued for this event. Thank you for understanding that as a not-for-profit, SBN needs to cover its costs of holding such an epic event in this amazing space!
We look forward to seeing you at ASB Waterfront Theatre - or at the early morning walk to the theatre!
With thanks to our conference partner Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), and to our supporters Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and thinkstep.