87 Bartholomew Close, London
Wednesday 28th of November 2012
17.30 (followed by drinks reception)
All businesses listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange will have to report the level of their greenhouse gas emissions from the start of the next financial year. Is this a sign of things to come?
We predict there will be nowhere for our industry to hide. As one of the top ten contributors to GDP and Employment, with a vast dependance on natural resource; our environmental, social and economic impact is unquestionable.
According to PwC’s 2012 global CEO survey, natural resource scarcity is second only to political instability in the biggest concerns for CEO’s. This displays a shift in corporate consciousness and the consideration for the environment as capital rather than a perpetual resource and fuel for profit. Never has our generation witnessed the fragility of commodity prices as accutely as over the last two years and never has food security been as bigger issue than it is today. Will the future demands of customers be met at a price that is acceptable both commercially and socially?
Sustainability reporting is nothing new. As far back as the 1930′s the social responsibilities of executives were being pioneered by the management theorist Chester Barnard in his book ‘The Functions of the executive’. But the opportunity now is for the foodservice industry to act before it is forced to. Our industry has the opportunity to innovate the way it reports its impact.
Examples are few and far between but last year’s innovation in sustainability reporting by the sport and lifestyle company Puma, with its environmental profit & loss account (EP&L), has shown how a company can understand risks such as water scarcity and natural capital and begin to focus investment to create and sustain competitive advantage.
As Tom Begeant from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ sustainability and climate change team explains:
“The EP&L is a means of placing a monetary value on the environmental impacts along the entire supply chain of a business. It provides at-a-glance clarity on the type, size and source of environmental impacts and by putting a monetary value on the impacts, provides more sophisticated understanding of risk by factoring aspects such as local water scarcity. By converting environmental impacts such as tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions or cubic metres of water into monetary value it allows different environmental impacts to be compared on the same basis for the first time and a format fimilar to business decisions.
Another example of innovation in corporate reporting which looks beyond environmental impacts is British Land’s report on its economic contribution. Looking beyond its traditional financial results, it examined the company’s contribution to society through tax payments, jobs supported and the wider impact of this in the economy. As more companies look to take their investments on sustainability to the next level this sort of understanding is going to be sought by managers and we are likely to see more examples of this emerging.”
The foodservice industry has embraced sustainability as a commercial principle. Innovative sustainability reporting offers the opportunity to quantify the economic value of responsible business, translating into value for customers, stakeholders, suppliers and the board. Lets take it further…..
This Footprint Forum will:
- Showcase innovative methods of sustainable reporting
- Explore case studies of the value it has added
- Show how basic steps can be taken
- Display how it is not a privilege reserved for FTSE listed companies
- Prove how it will become a definitive competitive advantage