When Executives Speak Out

A fair number of prominent business people have taken leadership positions on issues of sustainability and societal responsibility. Of course there are the examples we know and love to quote: Paul Polman of Unilever, Ian Cheshire of Kingfisher and Jochen Zeitz of Puma.

But what about when the pronouncements are more controversial?  I will never forget  the audible intake of breath at the BSR conference in San Francisco in 2010.   Aron Cramer was interviewing Zhang Yue, a prominent CEO from China running an energy efficiency business and displaying impeccable employee/human rights credentials. Taking everyone off guard he proclaimed that …

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Connecting the Dots

In preparation for an internal meeting this week I have been reviewing some reports that are going to send me home full of optimism tonight.

The Ecosystems Markets Task Force is a key commitment from the UK Government’s Natural Environment White Paper. The task force’s November 2012 interim report states right up front in the executive summary that “business depends on nature”; not just the harder nosed ‘resources’ word that I prefer to use  in a business context, but actually on ‘nature’. Task force membership includes the Chair/CEO and CFO’s from companies such as Kingfisher, United Utilities, Unilever and Jaguar/Land Rover.

So …

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