UK firms have the potential to unlock £100 billion a year by rethinking their approach to business and truly incorporating sustainability throughout their organisation. The Fortune Favours the Brave report, published by Accenture Sustainability Services, Business in the Community and Marks & Spencer, identifies five key innovations that can provide the catalyst to economic and commercial benefits, including productivity gains worth an estimated £100 billion each year and access to rapidly growing marketing already worth £200 billion annually.
As businesses face changing times they need to work harder to gain trust, ensure resource constraints and environmental concerns are efficiently tackled and don’t put undue pressure on supply chains and profitability. But it isn’t a case of business as usual – it requires a new approach. As Ian Cheshire, group chief executive of Kingfisher, states in the report: “Traditional approaches to sustainability aren’t sufficient – they’re not sufficiently positive to be motivating and don’t provoke the level of change required.”
This process means going beyond traditional corporate social responsibility to engrain sustainability into the heart of business strategy, aligning the core vision to deliver positive societal and environmental outcomes.
Changing our approach in business could generate billions
The aims of the five innovations is to future proof business and identify new options for growth, helping to “increase competitiveness and deliver sustainable growth while… addressing customer needs, improving environmental performance, creating jobs and supporting social progress”.
The five innovations are:
1. Shared value – promoting community prosperity, improving skills and enhancing health
2. More with less – adopting resource efficiency and using emerging clean technologies
3. Circular economy – closing the loop on supply chains through product design, extending asset life, reuse and recycling
4. New consumption models – enabling collaborative consumption by delivering products as a service
5. Transparency and customer engagement – embedding sustainable supply chain standards and transparently sharing information on product origins