Can Consumers Incite Change? My Thoughts on a Key Question

Can consumers actually motivate the companies they do business with to change their behaviour to support sustainable goals and outcomes?   This is one of the fundamental questions for CSR practitioners and a topic we weren’t afraid to tackle at the recent BT Better Future Forum.

At the event we had the opportunity to gather an incredible group of people together to dive into this topic – including Dame Ellen MacArthur, Lord Michael Hastings, and Climate Group CEO, Mark Kenber – which produced lively debate and inspired me to write up my thoughts for Business Green.

Below, is an excerpt …

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Social Performance vs Financial Performance

According to a tweet from Matthew Bishop, Head of the New York bureau of The Economist, a Chevron spokesperson at Davos said that social performance is becoming much more important than financial performance for companies. The tweet attracted some derision, but I agree with it. The reasons are at the core both of how I see my role working in BT’s Better Future team, and the difference I see between traditional Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and BT’s Better Future Strategy.

Traditional CSR, accompanied by vernacular like ‘philanthropy’ and ‘giving back to the community’ positions the societal impact of a …

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