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Can Businesses Change the World?

I was heartened to hear last week that Nestlé are reducing its use of plastics and have finally pledged to phase out plastic Smarties tops. As the world’s largest food and drink company with more than 2,000 brands in 191 countries, making this all important step-change could have significant social impact.

Given that the world only has until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, I wonder, can business change the world?

According to a survey by Globescan and SustainAbility, Unilever are leading the charge, planning to eliminate single use plastic packaging in the UK by 2025 and becoming carbon positive by 2030. The State of Sustainable Business Report 2018 shows that companies are increasingly focussed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), understanding that we now live in a world where it is not enough to deliver solely economic value, but environmental and social value too.

It’s clear that we are entering a new era of business where 65% of companies now rate ‘inclusive growth’ as one of their top three goals, with 77% of businesses seeing ‘citizenship and social impact’ rated critical or important.

For the last three years, I have been travelling around the world to meet change-makers and social entrepreneurs who are building a fairer, more caring, sharing economy. The result is a coffee-table book called Generation Share that will bring these inspiring stories to public attention for the first time. These are the next generation who are creating businesses that bring economic, social and environmental value to the world.

Social enterprise and conscious business are now on the rise, with companies embedding social value in their brand DNA from the outset. Given that the world’s largest companies make more money than most countries combined, it seems that if business can change and become a force for good, it could in turn change the world.

And that is positive news indeed.

Generation Share will be published by Policy Press in June 2019 for Global Sharing Week. You can now pre-order your copy here.

If you are a business interested in becoming a change-maker company and want to take part in my #CHANGE! project email me or join the conversation on Twitter #CHANGE! @benitamatofska

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