Important events held in June promise to lead to a more collaborative county-wide approach to two major drivers of business growth – sustainability and innovation. These two topics are key to building back better for greater prosperity and a fairer, greener and more inclusive business environment.
ICRS, the UK’s Institute of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, held the launch meeting of the ICRS Northamptonshire Hub. It brought together over 30 professionals from companies such as Bambino Mio, Blue Skies, Medigold Health, Scott Bader, Tesco and Travis Perkins, with a shared view that it is no longer about businesses doing no harm, but rather proactively doing good for the communities in which they operate – with opportunities for innovation.
The Hub will facilitate collaboration between members to improve their environmental footprint and enhance their social impact. Author and consultant David Logan, a director of ICRS with 40 years global experience in CRS, set the scene with an overview of the key trends in good ‘corporate citizenship’.
The meeting then discussed the concept of Circular Economy (CE). This was led by Jennifer Decker and Gerrard Fisher from QSA Partners, a specialist CE consultancy based in Brackley. QSA, who work with clients such as Adidas, Argos, IKEA and Samsung, is the first B Corp certified company in the county.
Innovate or Die!
A second event explored innovation. It was organised by Whitecap Consulting, strategy consultants, and the University with support from HCR Hewitsons, Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce and the new North and West Northamptonshire Councils.
Whitecap’s Lal Tawney and Foluso Laguda set the scene, accompanied by two excellent local case studies, from CEOs Alex Goldsmith of Medigold Health and Iain Hulmes of Pallite. They talked openly about their innovation culture – both reporting a burst of innovation as a result of COVID.
Their key takeaways? These were mostly related to leadership mindsets:
- When placed under pressure, employees are capable of much more than assumed
- When given responsibility and minimal supervision people tend to thrive
- Just try it! Fail fast, accepting failure as part of the learning process.
Having surveyed the attendees, the event will be followed by a consultation paper, as part of a wider initiative to map Northamptonshire’s innovation ‘ecosystem’. Whitecap have successfully undertaken this work in other counties. Interested parties please do get in touch if you would like to participate.
Contact Adrian Pryce at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07720 297402.