Writing (15)

Articles I've written for print and online media

What Does ‘Good Growth’ Look Like?

Ask politicians, investors or CEOs if growth is ‘good’ and their "yes!" will likely be as emphatic as the "no!" one might hear from concerned environmentalists. Such polarisation is due to different perspectives on what growth actually means. To reconcile these views, we must apply a…

Continue reading...

Is your SDG response ambitious and authentic?

In a previous article, we discussed how a defensive response to the SDGs achieves nothing, and a selective response risks causing negative trade-offs, which undermine any gains. Instead, a holistic response is required: Any company seeking to contribute positively to one or more SDGs must…

Continue reading...

Thoughts on VE Day

75 years ago today, Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allied Forces, and the Second World War was over in Europe. The day became known as VE Day. Along with countless others in the UK today, I watched on the BBC some of the original footage,…

Continue reading...

Green Swans and how to spot them

From recall… In a Harvard Business Review article in June 2018, John Elkington announced the world’s first product recall of a management concept — the Triple Bottom Line — which he had introduced 25 years earlier. Reactions were decidedly mixed, ranging from “good riddance!” to “how could…

Continue reading...

Striving for future‑fitness: a lesson from the suffragettes

Societal expectations shift incessantly, like stones on a beach. Some ideas ripple gently across our collective consciousness, leaving barely a trace, while others gather momentum, swelling into waves capable of dislodging the largest rocks. Established norms, which until moments before seemed immutable, are swept away.

Continue reading...

Back to the future

Current ways of measuring sustainability either exaggerate achievement or utterly fail to capture real progress. We need a new kind of metric that connects businesses with the scientific context surrounding their actions, and gives them a clear and compelling destination. Almost 50 years ago we…

Continue reading...

What makes a company fit for the future?

This deceptively simple question is actually very difficult to answer. That’s because until now we’ve lacked a common definition of what “enough” means. To see why, let’s look at the three benchmarks by which sustainability performance is typically assessed: All three approaches assess performance relative…

Continue reading...