How can Business Combine Profit with Purpose? The Future for Sustainability Summit (Summary Report and Videos)

Oct 28, 2014 1:00 PM ET

How can Business Combine Profit with Purpose? The Future for Sustainability Sum…

On 1st October, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) hosted the Future for Sustainability Summit in partnership with the Financial Times.  The Summit explored the challenges facing businesses who seek to combine the drive for profit with a wider contribution to society and the environment. 

The Summit, chaired by Michael Skapinker, Assistant Editor at the Financial Times, brought together over 250 delegates from diverse backgrounds to explore how business can redefine value beyond financial metrics, as well as examine sustainability strategies and trends that are shaping future business models. 

A number of influential business professionals, entrepreneurs and academics spoke at the Summit, including representatives from Kering, L’Oreal, Sustainia, Sainsbury’s, Johnson and Johnson and GSK, with the closing keynote from Dr Mike Biddle, Founder and Director of MBA Polymers.   

An overview video of the day is available here, alongside a summary report here on the Summit.

CCE also commissioned the Cranfield School of Management, with support from FT Remark and Net Impact, to further explore the topic of combining profit and purpose.  The research revealed a step change in expectation between current business leaders and the business leaders of the future – whilst both groups agree businesses should have a social purpose, a far smaller number of future leaders agree that they already do. The research also showed widely differing views on the barriers preventing companies from adopting a social purpose. This unique research was published on the day of the summit and provided material to fuel discussions on the day. Click here for more information and to download the entire report.

Topics discussed during the Summit included:

  • The millennial view of sustainability and how to ensure that the next generation is workplace-ready
  • Natural resource scarcity and environmental challenges and how to tackle them at boardroom level, through design and implementing a forward-looking sustainability agenda
  • Aligning profit with purpose, how business can deliver sustainable growth and integrate sustainability into their strategy
  • Afternoon breakout sessions covered a range of topics from how to redefine business value, rethinking waste and the ‘Internet of Things’

Click here for complete videos of each session.

See also a blog by John Brock, Chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola Enterprises featured on Thomson Reuters:

EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Your customers will seek social purpose with profit

Click here to follow the online discussion so far.