Written by Brenda Won, CSR Manager Foodstuffs, New Zealand.

“So, my first job; piano teacher. First real job; I worked at was a consultancy providing advice for oil and mining companies and how they to manage social and political risk. That’s a tough couple of industries, and it certainly helped me develop resilience, creative thinking and tenacity for getting ideas through.

My most loved job is being a mum to Russell and of course now my relatively new role as corporate sustainability manager for Foodstuffs New Zealand. While sustainability in all its forms has been part of the way the 100 percent New Zealand co-operative, we’re committed to upping our game.

Sustainability needs to be lived and breathed authentically. It’s not marketing, and it’s not greenwashing. A sustainable business is one that recognises that its future success is contingent on what it does today – and that goes beyond chasing the bottom line. Every brand should ask themselves, are we genuinely walking the talk? Your brand and what you do need to be one and the same. The brand is the vehicle to communicate what you are doing and how you are doing it.

Since I’ve been on the team, I’ve been involved in some key projects - from our single-use plastic bag exit to developing a comprehensive CSR strategy for Foodstuffs; building on the awesome work we’ve been doing already around people, community and planet. Whether we’re advancing careers of the 30,000 people who work for us, delivering the half-time oranges for local rugby and netball teams or ensuring food security and a cleaner environment for New Zealanders, we’re present, here and ready to do our level best to ingrain good choices into the business.

On a personal level my hopes and dreams for the future centre on cultivating a genuine understanding of others, doing the right thing by our people, our business and the community. We work in a business with 160 plus nationalities on board, and we are a huge part of society in everyday life, so reflecting and respecting our communities is a big part of our responsibility and my personal mantra.

All people can do great things – we need to take those steps and make an informed and heartfelt choice.  You don’t have to ‘move the world’ – you can positively affect your community and environment with small acts, every day.”

Brenda Won, Foodstuffs