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UK businesses could unlock £100 billion in value from these five innovations

Date
29 August 2013
UK businesses could unlock £100 billion in value from these five innovations

LONDON: Businesses in the UK could unlock £100 billion (US$154.81 billion) a year in value if they take advantage of five key innovations that aim to deliver sustainable growth and competitiveness, according to a report which analyzes conversations with the UK’s top C-suite executives. 

The study, Fortune Favours the Brave, published last month by Accenture, Marks & Spencer and Business in the Community, consults chief executive officers from different industries across the UK to pinpoint opportunities for sustainable growth that will future-proof businesses.

Businesses providing their leading insights include BT, Google, Marks & Spencer and Veolia. Quoted in the report, Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, Marks & Spencer, said: “We need to make sustainability part of our targets and an intrinsic part of our Brands.”

The report authors recommend five innovations for their potential to unlock productivity gains worth an estimated £100 billion each year in the UK, as well as their access to rapidly growing markets of which some are already worth almost £200 billion (US$309.62) per year. The five opportunities are identified as:

  • Shared value: converge interests with communities, to catalyze productivity gains through better employee engagement and improved reputation
  • More with less: adopt resource efficiency and clean technologies to drive cost savings, create jobs and help mitigate environmental issues
  • Circular economy: close the loop on supply chains through product design, extending asset life and recycling, to cut costs and preserve natural capital
  • New consumption models: deliver sharing services to create ‘collaborative consumption’ that will grow recurring revenue streams and help customers achieve lower-impact lives
  • Transparency and customer engagement: embed sustainable supply chain standards and product information transparency to build loyalty and drive productivity gains, as well as improve resource planning and risk management

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, commented: “Innovations such as these are already helping business leaders move beyond corporate responsibility, to unlock real sustainable growth and gain competitive edge. UK businesses are well positioned to lead the transition to a cleaner, more prosperous future.

“BT's Net Good is a great example of this new way of doing business. The Climate Group is delighted to be working with BT and other businesses at the forefront of innovation to help them adopt Net Good practices, engage stakeholders and achieve tangible, measurable change in the communities they operate in. This is the way forward – and BT’s leadership will hopefully inspire other leading companies to follow.”

The Net Good methodology and framework form part of BT’s Better Future program, which encapsulates the company’s commitment to be a responsible and sustainable business leader, a pledge set as one of BT’s six strategic priorities.

Net Good, which is led by Programme Director Kevin Moss, combines BT’s work on reducing emissions of its own and its suppliers operations with a new focus of using BT’s technology and expertise to have an overall net positive effect. The new methodology, reviewed, refined and endorsed by the Carbon Trust and Camanoe Associates (researchers from MIT), will help BT to achieve its 2020 goal to help customers reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end-to-end carbon impact of BT’s business.

Kevin Moss told The Climate Group: “Much like the innovation opportunities suggested for competitive businesses in this new research by Accenture, BT is moving beyond just making our own business more resource-efficient to using products and services that help our customers do the same -- and communications technology has a powerful role in achieving this."

He added: “We also hope that by creating and making available the details of our Net Good methodology, we will inspire other businesses to do the same. Or perhaps they can even try and do better than us, so that we can compare approaches, collaborate within and across sectors, and help raise the bar for sustainable practice.”

Read Fortune Favours the Brave

BT's Net Good: Explore an infographic of the new carbon abatement strategy 

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BT shares open source approach to CO2 abatement with new Net Good framework

We hope to play our part in creating a better future": BT CEO Ian Livingston presents Net Good plan in London

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