Update from LBG Director, Simon J Robinson - August 2017

492.jpegIt is hard to believe that we are already in the second half of 2017. No doubt you will agree that another year is flying by far too quickly.

As I reflect on 2017 so far, I have to say that it has been fairly tumultuous and one in which many of us could feel fairly disheartened. We have Donald Trump in arguably the most powerful position in the world, who amongst many other worrying things, has declared himself a staunch climate change sceptic. And while it was encouraging to see world leaders come together recently for the G20 summit and reaffirm support for climate change standing against the United States, the time for action is imminent. Mr Trump causes negative disruption and threatens one of the most important issues facing the world today as he calls it a ‘hoax’. In the long term this may well cause more irreparable damage.

Closer to home, we have to consider our own government’s performance and commitment to addressing the key issues. Our news headlines are dominated by politicians on all sides making noise, in-party fighting and sledging each other. All while important issues sit in the background and don’t always get the attention they deserve.

If 2017 has taught us anything it is that we cannot rely on government alone to fix the problems of the world. And as corporate community investment professionals we all know that these issues need to be urgently addressed. We must react now, decisively and collectively to ensure a fairer, safer and more prosperous world for all.

So what is the role of a corporate organisation? I would argue that it is increasingly important. And into the future, it will only continue to have greater significance. Yet, there is a way to go for corporates as well.

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that CEO credibility is down and that faith in business is low. However according to the Edelman report, 75 per cent of general population agree that a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community where it operates.

So in a time where one could feel fairly cynical about the future of the world, I have decided to take a more positive approach and focus on what I can do to help make it a better place. For me, this is working with you – the LBG members in our region – to support your commitment to deliver sustainability plans within your workplaces that will benefit the community.

With this in mind, the theme for this year’s conference is looking ahead to the future, with the aim to shine a bright light on what we as a collective group of passionate professionals may be able to achieve together. Yes, our jobs might change and we may have to reconsider the way we do things, but the core of our job will not. And unlike some of our politicians we can come and work together in tackling some of the biggest issues of today.

We will provide a more in-depth overview of the Conference in next month’s newsletter. Until then, stay focused and positive on what is ahead for the world. Working together, we can make a difference.

Finally, our Corporate Citizenship UK office is conducting research into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the progress business is making towards achieving them. Our practitioner survey is now live, and we would value your response. Thank you for taking part.

Best wishes,

Simon