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3 reasons why we signed up to the Better Business Act coalition

Behind Bidfood | 10 August 2021 | Andrew Selley

Well, I guess you could say the clue’s in the title, why wouldn’t any self-respecting company sign up to promote a better way of doing business? But what does ‘better business’ mean, why do we need an act of parliament to make it happen, and why did it feel like the right thing to do for Bidfood?

 

What is the Better Business Act coalition?

More than 650 UK businesses have come together because we believe that the law is out of step with society, and that we need to make sure every single company in the UK, big and small, aligns the interests of their shareholders with those of wider society and the environment.

Easy to say, but how do we make that happen in practice?

The coalition has a clear objective in mind- we are pressing government to amend Section 172 of the Companies Act to build in four principles that align the long-term interests of people, planet and profit. These principles would require all UK businesses to advance the interests of stakeholders as well as shareholders, empowering directors to weigh up their interests, with a legal duty to do so and to report on how they are balancing those interests. Businesses large and small have signed up to push for a cleaner, greener, fairer future for all.

You can read more about the coalition and its objectives here.

 

3 reasons we signed up:

 

1. It’s perfectly in tune with our own strategy

Our strategy is based on the principle of ‘Triple Bottom Line’, not my own idea (wish it was!). The concept has been around since it was coined 25 years ago by author and entrepreneur John Elkington. It means that as a business, we focus not just on the economic value we add, but also on the environmental and social value.

I’m a firm believer that businesses don’t have to choose between doing well and doing good. Profit and corporate responsibility can and should go hand in hand, creating value that is based on fairness, equality and sustainability.

 

2. It’s important to not only us, but our stakeholders

To follow the Triple Bottom Line approach we have to consider and engage all our stakeholders. That’s not just customers, employees and suppliers, but the local communities we operate in, organisations like WRAP, the FPA, UKHospitality, Springboard, Hospitality Action, the unions we work with, and government too.

What’s clear to us, is that many of them also want a cleaner, greener and fairer future, and an increasing number are, of course, millennials who care passionately about sustainability. We owe it to all of them to strive for responsibility, progress and change.

 

3. It’s in line with our values

 “Dream Big, Act Big, Achieve Big”

We’ve built a business based on our own authentic, shared values. Our teams understand and inspire each other to ‘care, share and dare’. Only when everyone pulls together in the same direction, can you bring your A-game, and we will certainly need that to make headway on some of the massive challenges we face like climate change

 

Why I’d urge other businesses to join us

Ultimately, sustainability makes good business sense, and every single company in the UK, whether big or small, has to take ownership of its social and environmental impact now, or nothing will change and we will be faced with even greater, perhaps insurmountable challenges in the years ahead.

The law has fallen behind business and public desire for change, but if we come together and work together, we can convince government to put that right. It will take real collaboration and commitment to address the issues that face us all, but with enough momentum and that crucial evolution in the law, we can move those mountains and everyone will benefit from a securer and fairer future.

You can find out more, and sign up, here.

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