Quake-hit Christchurch is seen as a growth area for environmentally friendly business given that a sustainable rebuild is needed and the South Island leans towards green principles, according to Manawatu Standard.
South Island businesses are represented at the top of a list of high performing green companies in New Zealand, according to market research.
The mainland supplied three of the top five companies in the New River Green 50 list, a New Zealand list of companies making money improving their surroundings.
Christchurch-based Stonewood Homes, builder of environmentally friendly buildings, was ranked No. 2 on the list. Managing director Brent Mettrick said the company, which had revenues of $125 million in the 12 months to March, had chosen to take the green path some years ago.
Stonewood had recently built a Homestar 7-star Lincoln show home including features such as recycled water for toilet flushing. That top star rating, under a national, voluntary environmental rating scheme, had only been equalled by a handful of other buildings around New Zealand, Mettrick said.
The company had taken a strong stance on recycling, and tried to deal with similarly minded materials suppliers.
"Construction is an industry that can be incredibly wasteful. An example of that is we've cut down by 50 per cent our waste off our sites ... for example we worked with Winstone Wallboards on a GIB offcut recycling scheme.
"Just in the last four months that's been working, over 45 tonnes of offcut GIB has gone to Westport to be included in Holcim cement."
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said customers were demanding that buildings and products used sustainable practices and manufacturing firms were run with integrity.
The Christchurch rebuild should follow such guidelines given the community's focus on a green path forward and because it made economic sense.
"Rebuilding energy efficient buildings with payback times that are short, that just makes economic sense, and we've got the opportunity to do that in Christchurch."
The Green 50 list was compiled by strategic and market research specialists New River, a New Zealand company that works with medium to larger size businesses in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany.