'Net positive' future defined

6th May 2014


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IEMA

Demonstrating positive impacts on the environment and society is the key for long-term business success, finds a new report from Forum for the Future, The Climate Group and WWF-UK

Entitled Net positive – a new way of doing business, the report highlights how implementing a strong sustainability strategy can help companies by enhancing their reputation, increasing sales, reducing costs and engaging staff, as well as improving competitive advantage and supply chain security.

It outlines 12 principles to support organisations wanting to make a positive impact across the full spectrum of social, environmental and economic issues, and wanting to demonstrate best practice in corporate responsibility.

“The term ‘net positive’ is not new, but it has never been properly defined,” said Sally Uren, chief executive at Forum for the Future. “We hope that the principles outlined in this report will help to bring clarity and push the agenda forward.”

One of the principles is a requirement for companies aspiring to be net positive to take every opportunity to deliver positive impacts across value chains and throughput to the natural world and society. They also need to report progress transparently and consistently, with outcomes independently verified where possible. Also, where impacts are ecological, companies must apply robust environmentally restorative and socially inclusive methods.

BT, Coca-Cola and SKF feature in the report for their sustainability efforts. The BeyondZero strategy adopted by engineering company SKF, for example, aims to dramatically reduce its operational environmental impacts while rapidly growing a portfolio of products and solutions that significantly reduce customers’ environmental impacts.


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