Remembering Alice Andrew

Reflections from SBC Executive Director Mike Burrell

Alice and Aaron started their company, 4Sight Consulting, when sustainability was in its infancy in New Zealand. They were pioneers and leaders in our sector. I had the great pleasure of getting to know Alice at a time when their business had grown to a point where it was making a real impact on sustainability throughout the whole of Aotearoa.  

From the first time that I met Alice, I was struck by her sincerity, her deep understanding of both the technical and regulatory challenges of sustainability, of her unwavering optimism and her sense of fun and passion for the subject – it was infectious. 

Right from the beginning, I knew she was a leader I wanted on our Advisory Board.  

But true to her humility, the first time I mentioned this to her, Alice said she wasn’t sure she could bring anything to the role.  

How wrong she was. Alice brought a huge amount to our Advisory Board.  

She was a vital and important advisor to me in my early days with the SBC, and her wisdom and her guidance was absolutely essential to setting SBC on the path it is now on with our focus on nature, climate and thriving people.  

It was Alice that reminded me that Te ao Māori needed to be threaded through all we do.  

It was Alice who reminded me that sustainability was about people as much as it was about nature.  

And it was Alice who reminded me that to have impact we need to work with others. This included Rachel Brown and our friends at the Sustainable Business Network who worked closely with Alice and Aaron in those early, pioneering days.   

Alice was a person I could ring when I had a problem, and she would give me a very practical and considered advice. She was a huge source of support to me and SBC during difficult times.  

Whether that was the complexities of Government policy, finding a balance between our ambition and our resources, or charting our course through the challenges of Covid, Alice was always a source of wise counsel. 

When Alice returned from her treatment last year, we were so thrilled to have her back around the Advisory Board table. Her energy, her knowledge, her humour, her kindness, and her radiant smile, raised our game and brought us closer together.  

For a few years we were very privileged to base our Auckland team at the 4Sight office, and so the whole SBC Team got to know Alice and Aaron well.    

We were always made to feel so welcome and part of their whānau. I will treasure those times we had talking about work and family in the kitchen at 4Sight.  

We will miss Alice enormously. She has had a profound and lasting impact on me and on SBC.  

On behalf of the Advisory Board, Team and Members of SBC, I offer our deepest condolences to Aaron, Trixie, Oscar and their whānau.  

Alice’s passion for sustainability, her deep knowledge of the environment, and most importantly, her love of people and of nature, will have an impact many, many years into the future.  

Alice’s mahi will resonate through Aotearoa’s sustainability journey for decades to come.  

6 Mar, 2024

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