"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." -Churchill

John Funnell

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Corporate Sustainability – Just Compliance or Growth Driver?

Assessment of our Corporate Sustainability is often driven by a need to comply

Assessment of our Corporate Sustainability is often driven by a need to comply in order to achieve the tick in a box for tender activity but is this how it should be perceived?

Surely implemented in the right spirit and with across the board buy-in, this buzz word strategy is a strong driver to business growth potential if only by spreading the word throughout your sector that you are sustainably aware and striving to be the best you can in your environment.

Didn't Marks and Spencer role out Plan A? A 5 year road map to spend £200 Million improving their sustainability by 2012? Within 2 years they announced they were ‘cost positive' for the project,generating returns as early as 2009.

Very few organisations perceive sustainability as an opportunity to drive up the bottom line, but history proves this to be an outcome of investment in positioning yourself as a leader in efficient use of resources utilising sustainable commodities to produce adesirable product for your marketplace whilst enhancing your brand reputation and hence reducing risk. A by-product is the effect on your competitive advantage and this flows through to the bottomline returning the investment in sustainability many times if planned and executed in the correct manner.

Generally the UK and Europe are ahead of the game when assessing their impact on their environment and drawing up a corporate sustainability strategy to roll out through their organisation, in SME's this need is more often driven by a compliance or regulatory need and theresultant by-product of improved profitability comes as something of a surprise, but this should notbe the case.  An investment in this area should be a top down implementation of a strategy with are turn on investment at its heart, backed by driving through the message of your sea change to your customers, competitors and the market niche as a whole utilising all the methods available to getthe message through, be it social media target marketing or brand loyalty.

Corporate Sustainability is a differentiator that is achievable to us all - make sure you get there before your competition.

In our organisation we never saw the benefit of exporting manufacture to Eastern Europe or the Asian block and kept right on producing chefs wear here in the UK whilst all others were turning abroad. This has always proved a great selling point for our organisation and in the current economic climate even more so, product miles being a key issue for the consumer. We are continuing to invest in this important element of our business strategy and minimising the impact of our organisation onour immediate environment.

By Denise Shacklady FCCA MIOD - Group Finance Director - www.tibard.co.uk

More Stories By John Funnell

John Funnell has worked in online media for over ten years, after achieving his First Class BSC Hons Degree (BBC Sponsored), John won Bos 18-21 Princess Trust Entrepeneur of the year at 21, setting up Clean Living Records Ltd (including www.BeatReview.com) with great success having many acts that charted in Europe and Canada. After selling the business John looked for a new challenge and joined GDS International, having a successful career in sales and Delegate acquisition, he worked up to Event Director EMEA, forging contacts with some of the biggest technology names in the world, this lead to John having a lead role in the creation of MeettheBoss.com and MeettheBoss.tv – the worlds largest business IPTV channel. John then took over as Marketing and Communications Director and ran a multifaceted global Marketing team for GDS International in New York, Sydney, Kuala Lumper and the UK.. John joined Global in 2011 with the challenge of supporting its growth by developing a solid Marketing foundation through various Digital, PR and brand initiatives.