Big UK businesses including BT, Coke and Kingfisher join forces with NGOs to propel Net Positive movement

17 December 2013

LONDON: A group of UK businesses and non-profits including BT and The Climate Group have come together to commit to becoming 'Net Positive', an initiative which translates innovation and sustainability into business and community benefits.

BT, Kingfisher, Coca-Cola Enterprises, SKF, Capgemini and The Crown Estate are joining forces with Forum for the Future, The Climate Group and WWF-UK to encourage businesses to become 'Net Positive' by adopting sustainable business practices that have positive impacts on value chains, systems and society.

To accelerate the movement, the group will showcase the many commercial, social and environmental benefits of turning Net Positive in a communications campaign throughout 2014. 

The group's first task is to produce a set of principles that characterize what a Net Positive commitment is – such as having a zero carbon impact. The group will also explore how customer and supplier innovations have the potential to open up new markets for businesses.

All corporate members of the group are in the process of making public commitments that demonstrate how they're having a positive impact on the communities and environments they work in and which will help drive the wider transition.

In June, member of The Climate Group BT launched its Net Good framework in London, where BT’s then CEO Ian Livingston and others presented the new carbon abatement methodology, which has the potential to jump start sustainable innovation across the private sector.

Kevin Moss, Head of Net Good, BT, said: “We made a commitment after our Better Future Forum and Net Good launch that we would be instrumental in creating momentum behind the Net Positive movement and are thrilled to be working on this in concert with a cross sector group of leading companies and NGOs. Net Positive will mean different things in different sectors, but the fundamentals will be common and by helping define them we hope we can create the foundations for a new perspective on the role of business in society and an appreciation of the role of sustainability as a vehicle for growth.”

Today at 3pm GMT The Climate Group is hosting a live Twitter Q&A with Kevin Moss to discuss the opportunity of doing Net Good business, six months on from BT's official program launch. Ask questions using #NetGood.  

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, comments on the Net Positive working group: “Net positive can be the basis of a new positive circle, where innovation and sustainability are translated into new business practices and tangible benefit to communities everywhere. It also offers real business benefits: in a tough market environment net positive leaders can better connect with consumers and better protect their brand and their bottom-line. The group we set up today will bring together the existing leaders to help them further their ambition and lay the groundwork for others to follow.”

Sally Uren, CEO, Forum for the Future, explains the importance of the initiative: “This group is absolutely critical for a sustainable future. The businesses involved all share the ambition not just to be a little less harmful – not even to get to ‘zero harm’ – but to be a positive force. By coming together they will help to accelerate the movement and encourage more businesses to take this brave and necessary step. We will have to work together to overcome the resource challenges that we are all facing and that’s why we, WWF-UK and The Climate Group decided to practice what we preach and came together to create real momentum.”

Dax Lovegrove, Head of Sustainable Business & Innovation, WWF-UK said: “This collaboration helps businesses move beyond damage control and create positive impacts on society, the climate and the natural world. We will explore how new kinds of customer and supplier innovations can deliver real throughput across business value chains, systems and society.”

Related news:

Kevin Moss, BT: Companies that don’t address climate change are "on the wrong side of history"

BT shares open source approach to CO2 abatement with new Net Good framework

“We hope to play our part in creating a better future": BT CEO Ian Livingston presents Net Good plan in London

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