The AgriBusiness Group
agricultural consultants




 Advanced Sustainability Intelligence & Assessment.


SOTA provides an innovative solution to solving the big challenges organisations face when addressing sustainability or ESG. SOTA was developed over six years of extensive research in partnership with large scale corporations and small innovative producers.

Whether you have an advanced sustainability certification system in place or are just beginning to consider sustainability, SOTA can enhance the value your organisation creates with sustainability. SOTA helps businesses distinguish themselves as sustainability innovators and leaders in a business environment where sustainability is increasingly expected of all companies.

SOTA is built on a modular approach to ensure that no matter what industry you are in or what level of maturity your sustainability programmes are at, SOTA has something significant to offer. The main elements of SOTA are:

  • Prioritisation and strategic guidance on what to address (Materiality Assessment)

  • Assessment of sustainability performance and analysis of information gaps

  • Reporting on sustainability or ESG


SOTA Development

SOTA was developed through extensive research conducted within the New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard Project. The method has been used to provide sustainable development insights to:

  • Zespri

  • Ngāi Tahu

  • Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ)

  • Karma Kola

  • and others

The research behind SOTA has been published in a high ranking international journal and presented to international sustainable business leaders at The Sustainability Consortium Summit in Chicago.

I like how it’s making it quick and easy to get an overview of the key issues for a business to consider
— Chris Morrison - All Good Organics

Modular Services

The diagram below provides an overview of the three main elements of SOTA and how they connect. Each of the three elements can also be used as a standalone service:

process sota.png

Targeted Problem Solving

Some of the business sustainability challenges SOTA addresses are:

  • What to measure

  • How to measure

  • How to respond

  • Who to collaborate with

  • How to take leadership on sustainability

  • Identification of effective metrics

  • Alignment of sustainability initiatives to consumer interests

  • Alignment of sustainability initiatives to international frameworks

  • Support to help employees implement sustainability

  • Development of a business case for sustainability

  • Identification of future threats and opportunities

  • Resources to communicate good deeds credibly

  • Identification of key stakeholders

  • Resources to engage stakeholders with

SOTA-logo-black (1).png

1 - Materiality Assessment

The SOTA materiality assessment has three parts, which result in the provision of crucial information for the development of an efficient sustainability programme. In the first part, new data analytics tools are used to scan the interests of multiple stakeholder groups for a wide range of sustainability issues. In the second part, we determine the business's priorities and performance against those same issues. In the third part, external stakeholder interests are combined with internal priorities and performance levels. Based on the analysis, we provide the business with:

  • A report on high materiality issues and key opportunities to create value from targeted sustainable development actions

  • A summary report to help the business plan its responses to the issues and communicate with stakeholders

Explore data on public interest in sustainability issues through interactive visualisations

2 - Sustainability Assessment

The SOTA sustainability assessment module is based online and has three main components:

  1. A description of each high priority sustainability issue and its relevance to business

  2. A qualitative assessment of performance using a practice based appraisal system

  3. A stock take of data the organisation has on each issue - aligned to internationally standardised frameworks (e.g. GRI)

Based on the assessment we are able to provide the organisation:

  • A review of their sustainability performance against key material sustainability issues

  • A strategic review of issues that could be reported on in a comprehensive way or metrics the business could adopt to improve their monitoring

  • An appraisal of the business’s ability to report against the GRI standards

3 - Sustainability Reporting

Every organisation has different requirements for sustainability reporting. We are able to support you in reporting at any level from externally assured reporting to an international standard, through to less comprehensive reporting to meet other needs (e.g. NZX ESG requirements). By using the first two SOTA modules your organisation will be most of the way towards producing a sustainability report, we can work with you to put it all the pieces together. We re able to provide:

  • GRI Reporting (we are trained GRI reporters)

  • Reporting to other international standards (e.g. IR)

  • Reports to meet NZX ESG requirements

  • Statements of sustainability and simple reports

  • Online interactive data models

  • Online and print based resources

Browse our latest research on how to develop a comprehensive sustainability programme, including reporting on progress


Additional Services

We provide an extensive range of sustainability advisory services including:

  • Remote sustainability management

  • Sustainability reporting

  • Business model development

  • Carbon footprinting

  • Sustainability metric and indicator development

  • Science based targets

  • Research funding application support

  • Stakeholder collaboration

  • Interactive data visualisation

  • And more, contact us to discover how we can help



Dr Jay Whitehead
Sustainability Analyst

The AgriBusiness Group

Phone: 021775886