Conscious Consumers

Conscious Consumers works with businesses to help mainstream their commitment to environmentally and socially responsible practices, products and services. They also work across the supply chain providing markets for suppliers of new products, and marketing to a fast growing network of conscious customers.

Team

Conscious Consumers is led by Ben Gleisner. He is supported by a national team based in Wellington and a Regional Coordinator for each of their six regions.

What they’re doing and why

Conscious Consumers assesses hospitality businesses, and suppliers to these businesses, for twelve practices that make good business sense, respect people and the environment and reflect current conscious consumer preferences.

Badges are awarded for each practice, which are displayed on their website.

The scheme was launched in Wellington in June 2010 and Auckland in July 2011, and expanded to the Waikato in September 2011. The initial focus was on the café sector. In early 2012 additional funding was secured to ‘revamp’ the programme and move into the wider hospitality sector and the South Island.

In January 2013, Conscious Consumers launched a smartphone app that enables consumers to find businesses that are part of the scheme and earn rewards for their conscious choices.

Since setting up the scheme in 2010, Conscious Consumers have accredited more than 400 businesses across New Zealand.

Coverage

Conscious Consumers operates in Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Canterbury, and Otago.

Accomplishments over the last year

  1. More than doubling revenues from business members.
  2. Secured $300k of funding from central and local government to cover two years of operations.
  3. Supported over 100 businesses to improve their social and environmental practices.
  4. Grown the team from 6 to 10 staff.

Goals for the next two years

  1. Secure independent financial sustainability in the New Zealand hospitality sector, as a foundation for further growth.
  2. Establish a growing presence in other sectors within New Zealand.
  3. Establish a growing presence outside of New Zealand.

Incubation stage

Incubation

Compass Network

Conscious Consumers has had incredible support through the Compass Network. In particular, the development of two fundamental aspects – a marketing and sales strategy and an impact assessment framework. This work was undertaken by Maven. In addition, legal support for contracts and privacy terms was secured through the Compass Network.

What’s next

Conscious Consumers is focused on three key expansion areas:

  1. Expansion into smaller New Zealand regions
  2. Taking the scheme international
  3. Launching into new business sectors

Conscious Consumer is exploring opportunities to expand both beyond the hospitality sector in New Zealand. It is also looking at international expansion opportunities. Conscious Consumers is open to exploring different funding arrangements to support its growth.

Investment opportunities

Conscious Consumers presently seeks support and investment including:

  1. Financial investment or support to speed expansion.
  2. Pro-bono support to support technical roadmap and architecture.
  3. Sponsored office space

For more information see the contact details in the next column.