Our Board

Environmental Choice New Zealand is managed by The New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust, an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

Richard Tong, MSc (Hons). Chair

Managing Director, Tong & Associates environmental consultancy (est. 1984). Richard has post-graduate qualifications in public administration, local government and tertiary teaching, and served on the Applied Science Advisory Committee of Auckland University of Technology, 1996-2010.

He is associated with major developments in recycling (both NZ and overseas) and established the award-winning Devonport Recycling Scheme. Richard has lectured widely on environmental topics and co-authored "Clean and Green? The New Zealand Environment".

Hans Buwalda

Hans Buwalda is an environment, health and safety consultant. Hans has a B.Sc (Geography), a Diploma of Natural Resources and a Master of Business Administration. He is a Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors, a Chartered OHS Professional and a Certified Environmental Practitioner.

Hans is a consultant in EHSconsult. He provides governance, strategy and risk management advice on environment, health and safety issues. Prior to this role, Hans was the Group Environment, Health and Safety Manager for Fletcher Building between 2002 and 2014. In that role, Hans led many of the environment, health and safety initiatives that Fletcher Building has adopted.

Hans is also involved with building sustainability issues and was a member of the Board of the New Zealand Green Building Council from 2006 to 2013.

Karen Mcdonald

Karen is Deputy CEO and Head of Marketing and Business Development at Consumer NZ. She is responsible for maximising revenue from membership and business development to support Consumer's independent research and testing programme. She’s also involved in growing the Consumer Foundation to support Consumer’s broader advocacy role. She is committed to Consumer NZ’s work providing independent information consumers can trust and ultimately working towards a fair deal for Consumer members and all New Zealanders. Karen who first joined Consumer NZ in 2007 and again in 2012, brings a consumer-focused perspective to the Board from her six years plus at the member-based independent, non-profit.

Kim Calvert - Stakeholders Representative

Kim is a highly experienced and strategic senior manager in the FMCG industry who has served brands including Woolworths, George Weston Foods, Colgate Palmolive and Villa Maria Estate. Under Kim's direction as Country Manager, Cottonsoft Limited has become a vanguard for sustainability certification in New Zealand, adding to its PEFC certification with the 2013 achievement of the Environmental Choice ecolabel, earned after a rigorous 18-month audit process involving international supply chains.

Kim leads the development of products for business and consumers that keep Cottonsoft at the forefront of its category, and works closely with Cottonsoft's International affiliates to identify opportunities to further strengthen the supply chain and expand the business domestically.

As the winner of the 2014 ECNZ Innovator of the Year for their inclusion of the standard into their marketing campaigns, Cottonsoft is today the only tissue-converting company to maintain a manufacturing presence in the South Island, and the company's factory in Dunedin – Kim's hometown and Cottonsoft's original headquarters – complements an expanding head office, warehouse and manufacturing facility in Auckland.

Rohan Bush

Rohan Bush is a built environment professional with qualifications in Architecture, Building Science and Political Studies. She is currently working in the UK for the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre. Previously she held the position of Manager – Affordable Housing Policy for Auckland Council, after roles with the New Zealand Green Building Council and Sustainability Victoria in Melbourne. Rohan has worked in the public and private sectors and has a range of skills including strategic planning, project and design management and stakeholder engagement. She will draw on her building industry experience, including experience as a property professional, to add value to the board.

Sarah Ho, M.Planning (Hons)

Sarah is a Planner currently positioned with the New Zealand Transport Agency having worked previously for local government in Auckland and overseas. Within those roles she has been an ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) representative and certified auditor, and a sustainability advocate within the workplace. Sarah has a keen interest in sustainability and completed her Masters project on urban food growing and the sustainability of cities in 2001.

Our Staff

Francesca Lipscombe

Francesca Lipscombe has recently been appointed to General Manager of the New Zealand Ecolabelling Trust. Having spent the past 3 years as Account Manager at the Trust, Francesca has a thorough understanding of ecolabelling and has developed great working relationships with licensees here in New Zealand and GEN colleagues from around the globe.

Francesca has a degree in Marketing and Operations from the University of Waikato and 14 years’ experience in a variety of sales and marketing roles.

Francesca has a genuine interest in the environment and sustainable business practices and takes great pleasure in working with licensees to promote and develop the Environmental Choice label. She is excited to take the next step in her career and is committed to addressing New Zealand’s environmental concerns one product at a time!

Alex Williams

Alex Williams is the Executive Assistant to the General Manager and office all rounder, performing all manner of administration activities. Alex has been with Environmental Choice for going onto seven years, has a good rapport with stakeholders and is the first port of call when making contact with the office.

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