At a glance

Regularly updated with new content, our blogs provide a useful resource of short, to-the-point stories for anyone wanting to understand more about SOI® and what’s driving change in the world of business sustainability.
“Absolutely brilliant insights.”
Nyasha Duri
Most businesses are familiar with the term CSR and probably have a number of initiatives in place which purport to deliver tangible benefits to the environment or society. What is far less common (at least in the UK) is the term ESG, but mark my words, they are three letters that will fundamentally shape the […]
It’s been an extraordinary week. In a major coup for people and the planet, Exxon Mobil shareholders voted two new directors onto their board this week to ensure the oil giant does more to tackle climate change and re-direct its business toward a sustainable future. In the same week two other giants of the corporate […]
If science, facts and evidence mattered, change would have happened by now. Instead, change will be fuelled by a combination of the kind of heartfelt emotional activism we saw snuff out the European Super League, the courage of leaders to take on the status quo and practical, fit for purpose, tools, innovations and technologies that allow us to leapfrog over the barriers that stand in the way of progress.
Measurement with purpose
Published on March J 2021
Social change – or, if you must, social impact – is wickedly hard to measure. But in order to produce the change we want, we need these measures to be robust and meaningful. It’s too important a tool to waste. Most social impact measurement fails by ignoring our inherent autonomy as individuals. Different people react […]
Millennial Minds: Lean in and listen
Published on February J 2021
I am embarrassed to admit that at the conclusion of my environmental science class in high school, my thoughts were consumed by how to suppress the devastating facts I’d just learned. I had been taught about how our consumption of greenhouse gases was destroying entire ecosystems, causing the mass extinction of animals, disproportionately harming poorer […]
Getting away with it
Published on January J 2021
Once upon a time, an enterprising young businessman bought a large amount of corn and set sail from Alexandria to Rhodes to sell it at a time when corn was particularly expensive in Rhodes due to a shortage brought about by famine. But what if he knew that his wasn’t the only ship on its […]
Accelerating Progress
Published on November J 2020
My new book has been sat on our brand-new website for the past two weeks. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to finally announce that it exists. The CORE Playbook is the product of 15 years of experimental development, refinement, listening, testing, questioning, proving, writing, sharing, yet more questioning, encouragement and collaboration. In my first book, CORE: […]
Peddling the purpose paddle
Published on January J 2020
So, Larry Fink has posted his annual letter, rightly called into question by the ever- alert Economist. Greta Thunberg has again castigated the great and the good at the annual bash in Davos and Donald, the leading defender of the status quo is carrying on being, well, Donald. Welcome to 2020. Exactly two decades ago […]
There be dragons - or are they dinosaurs?
Published on November J 2019
Dragons Den*, the international reality TV franchise that came out of Japan in 2006 and pits fund seeking entrepreneurs against celebrity seeking venture capitalists was on Canada’s public broadcast channel CBC last week. ‘Cleaning up with a dragon’ and similar whoo-hoo one-liners introduced an ‘Up-cycle Special’ featuring fledgling businesses setting out to make the world […]
It's great to see my partners @MartinJenkins and their clients in New Zealand making strides forwards (see here). It is progress when communications and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) teams unite under the purpose banner*. But to deliver sustainable success for all it is critical that Executive Teams and their Board's grasp the initiative and hot-wire purpose into the […]
Last week the UK government rejected all 18 of the recommendations put to it by a committee established to investigate, amongst other concerns, the negative impacts of the world’s second largest polluter - fast fashion. Meanwhile in Brussels the European Union was incapable of uniting to set a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050 and over in Canada the […]
Sometimes the future is not hard to predict - it’s totally logical. Widely cited, Star Trek’s Chief of Logic (COL), Spock nailed it when he said that “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” If we are bold and if we act now to change our organisations and our systems we […]
Prof. Ioannou's latest article on sustainability and strategy in the Harvard Business Review confirms that companies can do well by doing good. "Our exploratory results confirm that the adoption of strategic sustainability practices is significantly and positively associated with both return on capital and market valuation multiples, even after accounting for the focal firm’s past financial performance." This […]
The time for business to act is now
Published on October J 2018
On the 25th September 2015 in New York a document entitled Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was endorsed by the 193 countries of the UN General Assembly. The Agenda set out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets covering a range of issues facing humanity including action on ending poverty, combating hunger, […]
Earlier this month Unilever announced that 70% of its turnover growth now comes from an increasing stable of brands that have successfully defined or redefined their purpose and aligned themselves with the core Sustainable Living Plan (USLP). That’s up 10% on the previous year and comes hand-in-hand with what FT commentator Matthew Vincent described as a positive […]
I’m pretty sure that if you asked the vast majority of Facebook employees about their organization’s core purpose, they wouldn’t say that it’s to make money at any cost. Yet right now, for the rest of us, it’s begun to feel as though that’s exactly what its core purpose has become. For me this is […]
Looking back, I predict a riot
Published on December J 2017
December is traditionally a time for reflection on the year just passed and for predictions on the new one ahead. Here are mine. In the second half of 2017 I went round the world promoting my book Core, and at the same time trying to understand what stands in the way of businesses identifying, defining and […]
Learning lessons in Lebanon
Published on November J 2017
As with technology, businesses in emerging economies have the opportunity to leapfrog the bolt- on CSR efforts and ad-hoc philanthropy of the developed world and put sustainability at the core of their enterprises straight way. On an airplane climbing out of Beirut’s milky early morning sunshine, it was hard not to contrast my experiences there […]
Heading to Utopia on purpose
Published on October J 2017
The first part of the latest leg of my CORE book tour took me to Boston, Toronto and Montreal. Along the way I encountered long-time campaigners with pipe dreams for a sustainable Shangri-La and business leaders with an increasing curiosity about what lies beyond ‘purpose’. My first stop landed me in the middle of Sustainatopia – not […]
This is the story of how Martin Beyer helped change the direction and purpose of one of Norway’s largest supermarket chains. I met Martin when I was promoting my book CORE with Pure Consulting in Oslo last month. Quite simply – while working in the supermarket’s bakery department – Martin couldn’t help noticing that every day a lot of […]
“A decent account of the siege that surrounds old-school capitalism, how its being reimagined and how just doing nothing is out of date.”
David Meller
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