This section provides a bank of information for companies to consider as they begin to identify the new products, services and business models that will help them adapt to a world that needs to support 9 billion sustainable lifestyles by 2050.

What are the conversations you need to have to begin this thinking? What are the global trends that will affect your future success and sustainability? What are the opportunities for sustainable innovation that collectively could unlock around £100 billion a year in value for businesses?






Boardroom Agenda

To start doing things differently, business leaders need to start having different conversations.

Working with our members, Business in the Community has developed four key areas for discussion in the boardroom and in other parts of the business, to help you get to the heart of how truly resilient your business model is and shape your approach to innovation and business development.

  • Global mega-trends – How have you considered the opportunities and risks global mega-trends pose to your business model in the short and long term?

  • Unique contribution – What is the unique contribution your company can make to support high quality, sustainable lives for 2050’s global population of 9 billion?

  • Legacy – What is your long-term ambition for the legacy of your brand, business or even personal leadership?

  • Balance – How do you create the right balance in decision-making and planning? This includes between: short-term priorities of your stakeholders and your need to address longer term trends; competition and collaboration; science /technology and natural systems

  • Ask of customers – What is the specific ask you can make of your customers which will ensure your products or services are as sustainable as they can be?

The resources below provide information to help you explore these questions in more detail – data on some of the important trends that may affect businesses in the short, medium and longer term, and information about five innovation areas that companies may want to consider when developing their unique contribution.

Read more about the Boardroom Agenda>

Trends and challenges

What are the global mega-trends influencing which products, services and business models will be successful and sustainable over the next 40 years?

Every UK business should consider how global forces for change and sustainability pressures will affect their future success and sustainability.

These trends reshape markets, altering customer demand, creating new supply constraints and shifting the ‘rules of the game’. By understanding these market dynamics, companies can assess the implications and value at stake and better prepare for improved economic, social and environmental sustainability.

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Key opportunities

These five key innovation areas provide the opportunity to catalyse sustainable growth by delivering productivity gains worth a potential £100 billion each year in the UK.

By capturing these opportunities, across markets already worth almost £200 billion annually, businesses can increase competitiveness and address customer needs, while at the same time improving environmental performance, creating jobs and supporting social progress.

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Next steps

Once you have assessed the trends likely to affect your business in the future and the innovation opportunities you may be able to take advantage of, you can start to identify a unique contribution, and create a compelling corporate vision and objectives, all of which which can guide future strategy; help align commercial and sustainability imperatives; focus innovation and provide the storyline to motivate and engage staff on the change required.

This strategy development should look at three key factors: what the company delivers; how it earns money; and how it delivers its products or services. This is also a useful lens through which to explore the trends and opportunities above.

The next step is to test new products, services or business models at a large enough scale to learn from without being so large that the cost of failure would damage the business. This might be a test project affecting a particular business unit, product line or location – it, or the principle behind it, should be scalable if successful.

The Test section provides a summary of the different roles played by the sales and marketing, operations and procurement functions in identifying and testing sustainable innovation opportunities.