A very engaged group from Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Hilton Worldwide, BGL Group, Kier Group, WRAP and Affinity Water amongst others, came to hear Chris Harrop, Marshalls plc and Chair of the UN Global Compact UK Network, kick off the subject ‘How do you future proof your business?’
Chris (who has a unique perspective as both Group Marketing Director and Director of Sustainability) explained how Marshalls have been able to see the benefit of taking the longer-term view, even in tough times. By looking at the big global economic, social and economic trends and the emerging themes for the spaces where their products are used, they have been able to transform their products, services and skills for market advantage.
The biggest question attendees wanted to explore was how to change short-term cultures and influence key players to see the value of sustainable business thinking. There were lots of great ideas, practical, tactical and strategic… and some nice new phrases to take away and think about. Like ‘Double Top Line’ – how you balance impact and revenue, for example.
And whilst every organisation is different there was agreement that it’s important to keep making progress, building engagement, advocacy and results step by step, even when it’s challenging… and that timing is everything.
And as if planned, Big Ben chimed to draw the session to a close.
Download the illustrative outcomes of the event here:
Chris is Group Marketing Director and the Director of Sustainability at Marshalls plc, the market leading supplier of hard landscaping products. He is an accomplished marketer with a proven global track record.
At Marshalls, Chris has helped transform the company into a leading sustainable business, winning numerous awards for commitment to the environment and supply chain ethics, including BITC, Business in the Community Awards for Excellence.
In recognition of his achievements, Chris was rated 5th in Ethical Corporation’s Heroes of Sustainability in 2007 and in 2012 was named a ‘Business Game Changer’ by BITC.
Chris is Chairman of the United Nations Global Compact UK Network, and is also a Non Executive Director at the Ethical Trade Initiative.
His qualifications include a BA Hons Business Studies, an MBA, several professional qualifications and is a Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors and a Chartered Marketer of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.