About - Sustainability (banner)

As New Zealand’s leaders in marketing sustainability for clients, we take our own footprint – and handprint – seriously.

Skills for good

Our time, like all resources, is finite so we only spend it on clients whose services or products are positive for our people and for nature in Aotearoa. We work with medium and small businesses across a range of sectors as well as social enterprises and large organisations that we want to see thrive in our economy. By using our skills for good our ‘handprint’ can be large and positive. See here for our shared knowledge 

Light and nimble

We make the most of 21st technology to deliver great client service and flexible working with minimal travel. Our team operate from a network of home offices connected by a cloud-based phone system, video conferencing and a secure social network/intranet for document sharing and communication. This approach supports the quality of life of our team members and minimises our use of space and pointless travel.

We plan diaries and trips to make the most of any fossil fuel we burn and use public transport and cycle when we can. We track and offset all our flights and our two owner-Directors’ car use with Toitū Envirocare.

In August 2018 our commitment to flexi-working was recognised by Auckland Transport TravelWise who presented us with their ‘Think Outside the Car’ Award for creative excellence in reducing car dependency and congestion. Watch the video in our blog about winning the award and how we make flexi-working work.

Ethical success

We are structured to provide flexible, rewarding work to our expert team, the best possible marketing for our clients and an enjoyable business for our shareholders, Jo Patterson and Kath Dewar. This win-win-win approach applies externally as well as internally – we’re always looking for successes for society and nature as well as business owners and their staff.

Buy little and well

In our procurement we choose carefully and seek function over fashion. As Directors, we do our best to spend our dollars well – from ink-efficient white board markers, to durable technology – and we are working on guidelines for our freelance team.

Being outspoken

Historically, marketing and advertising have led the way in promoting waste and exploiting people. From disposable fashion to fast food, marketers have stoked the worst in human nature and prospered.  At Good Sense, we think it’s payback time.

That’s why we joined dozens of other businesses to call for urgent climate action in November 2016 and why we speak out in the media about inequality, wasteful sales promotions and greenwash.

Our work to champion best practice and challenge greenwash was recognised by the Sustainable Business Network in 2013 when we were finalists in two Awards categories.

Sharing what we know

Our volunteer work to create change over the last ten years, through sharing what we know, includes:




  • Kath Dewar co-judged the Sustainable Business Awards 2019
  • Jo Patterson delivered an interactive workshop on marketing communications & differentiation for NZ’s most progressive brands at the Lifecycle Assessment Conference on 27th Nov 2019.
  • Kylie Bailey was a speaker at the ‘Building Your Natural Products Business’ two-day Bootcamp by Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute on 19th and 20th Nov 2019.
  • Kath Dewar presented at Auckland Transport Travelwise Awards 2019 as the 2018 winner of “Think Outside the Car”!
  • Kylie Bailey commented on Stuff about identifying products that are greenwashed by companies trying to profit from very real climate concerns, 19 Dec 2019.
  • Delivering ethical marketing workshops in partnership with Ākina and the Sustainable Business Network in Auckland and Wellington 2019.


  • Auckland Transport Video about the GoodSense Award Win for flexi-working, 2018.


  • Panelist for Cosmetics NZ Executive Breakfast on ethics and sustainability, October 2018.
  • Delivered a closing keynote at the Social Enterprise Aotearoa Forum, November 2018.
  • Co-delivered workshop at the Climate Change and Business Conference, October 2018.
  • Interviewed by Wallace Chapman for Radio NZ’s The Panel on the marketing of junk food in Aotearoa, July 2018.
  • Delivering workshops in partnership with Ākina and the Sustainable Business Network, in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland during 2017-2018.
  • Being one of 200 signatories on the open letter delivered by WWF NZ and Generation Zero to NZ climate minister James Shaw 6 June 2018.
  • Interviewed by Jenny Keown from The Spinoff on greenwash in Aotearoa, May 2018.
  • Running a session on marketing and branding with The Kitchen Project, May 2018.
  • Helping judge the Sustainable Business Network Awards, 2018.

Previous knowledge sharing has included:

  • Delivering a workshop with Ākina and the Sustainable Business Network in Wellington, 2017.
  • Delivering workshops and a marketing clinic at the Social Enterprise World Forum, Christchurch, 2017.
  • Helped judge Sustainable Business Network Awards, 2017.
  • Supporting Stuff with background for their story on sustainability’s impact on purchasing trends, 2017.
  • Facilitating the ‘Transforming the building industry’ panel discussion at the National Science Challenge- building better homes, towns and cities conference, Christchurch, 2017.
  • Delivered a webinar with the Sustainable Business Network, nationwide, 2017.
  • Ran an interactive public workshop on how to write persuasive messages in Whanganui February 2017.
  • Interviewed by Fairfax Business Journalist Madison Reidy about public purchasing behaviour, featured on Stuff, October 2017.
  • Delivering workshops at the Strengthening Communities hui for Community Recyclers Network, Environment Hubs Aotearoa and Community Energy Network members, 2016.
  • Facilitating panel discussion on marketing sustainability, Sustainable Business Network conference, 2016.
  • Contributor to Marketing Magazine article on ‘Brands with purpose’, September 2016.
  • Contributing three articles to the international Chartered Institute of Marketing’s sustainability series.
  • Ran a members-only webinar for the Sustainable Business Network on how to define a brand that soars.
  • Contributed content for the UK-based Chartered Institute of Marketing’s marketing sustainability series, August 2016.
  • Being one of 60 business signatories on the open letter delivered by WWF NZ to Climate Change Minister, Paula Bennett on the 22 November 2016.
  • Marketing delivery partner, ATEED Green Growth training programme, 2015.
  • Waikato Regional Council’s sustainability training with the Cambridge and Te Awamutu Chamber of Commerce, 2015.
  • Delivered workshops at Sustainable Business Network conferences and showcases 2015, 2013, 2012.
  • Launched Sustainable Marketing Online Course, January 2015.
  • Speaker for the University of Auckland Business School post-graduate programme Ethics course, 2014.
  • Green marketing guest lecturer, AUT MBA programme, 2013.
  • Fit for the Future Conference speaker, 2013.
  • Delivered Green Living Conference marketing workshop, 2013.
  • Published Stop Press article on ethical consumer demand, 2012.
  • Speaker on demand for sustainability, Hospitality Association of NZ annual conference, 2012.
  • Helped judge the Sustainable Business Network Awards in 2012, 2011 and 2010.
  • Speaker on demand for sustainability, Association of NZ Advertisers conference, 2011.
  • Developed and delivered Green Marketing course for the University of Auckland Professional Development Unit 2010, 2009.
  • Delivered green marketing and greenwash breakfast workshop for the Sustainable Business Network, 2010.

Kath Dewar is also the Course Director for the Sustainable Marketing Online course offered with the Marketing Association and the Sustainable Business Network.

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