Ziptrek Ecotours

Using the Future-Fit Business Benchmark

Ziptrek Ecotours (Ziptrek) is a well-established sustainability leader in the New Zealand tourism industry. The ziplining company has integrated sustainability principles into its business decisions and tours since its inception and is a powerful benchmark of a business’ potential to create genuine value for society and the environment.

Drawing heavily from the Natural Step principles, Ziptrek is Queenstown’s first carbon neutral business; has a strong history in leading meaningful restorative conservation projects, including the planting of over 5000 shrubs in partnership with Wakatipu Reforestation Trust; and is passionate about sharing its sustainability knowledge with its customers and the local community.

A testament to its pioneering spirit, Ziptrek was looking for a strategic solution to guide its next steps towards true sustainability as part of its 2020 business plan.

The Future-Fit Business Benchmark was a natural fit for Ziptrek, drawing on the Natural Step principles and founded on 30+ years of peer-reviewed science from the Stockholm Resilience Institute. The Benchmark is a series of 23 Break-Even Goals that measure the true progress of a business towards a society that is socially just, environmentally restorative and economically inclusive.

As Trent Yeo, CEO of Ziptrek said,

"I was excited when I found out about Future-Fit Business. We’d heard about many different systems for assessing sustainability, but none of them was completely the right fit. We were keen on how it’s not only for big businesses, but smaller businesses can use it too. It was important to us that it’s open source, and it was a robust structure that businesses can work through - there's no holes in it. A key aspect for us is that it references the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals in a way that smaller businesses can apply them. The global aspect is also important - if countries, industries and businesses all create our own systems, we can’t compare."

Proxima, as a Future-Fit Business Benchmark accredited partner, worked collaboratively with Ziptrek to coach it through its baseline Future-Fit assessment.

Proxima assumed a coaching-style role to guide the internal team through its baseline Future-Fit assessment. The project began with an initial knowledge sharing session to introduce the Benchmark to the Ziptrek Future-Fit team and perform an initial Health Check against each of the 23 Break-Even Goals to provide a snapshot of its position against the Goals and prioritise future sustainability initiatives.

Majority of the baseline Future-Fit assessment was internally driven by the highly capable Ziptrek team. Proxima supported the assessment by conducting regular check-ins to answer questions about the interpretation of Break-Even Goals, providing technical expertise and supporting data management for measuring some Break-Even Goals where data had not previously been recorded.