Paul Hargreaves: Doing More
We are just going through two audits at Cotswold Fayre. One if our B Corp re-certification, due every three years and the other is our first carbon neutral audit. Processing the information on both has made me feel both a sense of pride in what we have done so far, and secondly to realise how much more we can do. And I hope the latter sense is going to be one of the greatest positives to come out of one of the most traumatic periods the world has come through since the second world war.
It has become very clear that we cannot stay the same, we must do more for the planet and we must do more to further equality. Yet there will be those who claim we must get back to how we were before the pandemic before we move forward in other areas. There will be businesses that take that attitude and those businesses are almost guaranteed to struggle and may well fail, because the world has moved on and we simply cannot be left behind. It is high time to do business in a better way. Our customers demand it, our people want it and our planet is crying out for it. Do not put off change for another day or another year, the time to act is now.
Almost a year ago, the government declared a climate emergency, which has proved absolutely meaningless in terms of policy. Only a few weeks ago the Prime Minister announced that we were to “Build, build, build” out way back. Yes, we need more houses and hopefully some of the refugees coming to our country will eb offered some of these, but do we really need more roads. Absolutely not, people to continue to travel less and we certainly do not need to invest in more roads. How about diverting that money into more cycle leans instead.
Yes, businesses can achieve much through pre-emptive action, but to speed the process of change the government must legislate for change and offer tax incentives for businesses who are proving to make a difference. It is right that businesses that are doing business in a way that is better for the planet grow at the expense of businesses that are damaging the planet. I hope one way our certifications will be applauded by the tax regime – we may get back some of the £100,000 we have spent this year on making the world a better place.