“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” ― Henry Ford

Topics: Our Story

vintage brown and white Ford single-cab pickup truck parked on pavements photo – Free Car Image on UnsplashEvery aspect of our life needs to change. Some people and businesses are slowly starting to realise this. 

The most successful businesses understand that in order to remain competitive, sustainability should be considered in everything they do.

The very very best businesses also understand that by getting together, learning and sharing expertise they can leapfrog the timeline and achieve sustainability quicker.

This week 67 firms have collaborated to send a message to the Brazilian Government about deforestation caused by soya farming,  That is a great example of collaboration for sustainability. 

The quote at the top or this article is taken from the email signature of one of my customers. A procurement leader called Andy Hay who works in the NHS.

I love this as Andy is setting out his stall and letting everyone he emails know, that he is not going to settle for the status quo and is on the lookout for constant improvement.

This is the same for business today. The old ways of doing business have got us into a terrible mess. The linear economy of take make and dispose is no longer acceptable. 

Businesses that do not adapt and change will be disrupted by other business who are doing things better with less impact.

"Our future depends heavily on innovation, collaboration and transparency."
Nike CEO Mark Parker

One way businesses can avoid disruption and increase competitiveness is to collaborate with the competition. 

This especially applies to smaller businesses who are looking to take away the crown of the dominant forces in their industry.

cairn stone in Skogafoss Falls  Iceland photo – Free Pebble Image on UnsplashBusiness collaboration is not new,  just think of your local chamber of commerce.

This is not new in the realm of sustainability either.

Industry bodies like IEMA and ICRS for sustainability professionals, have been facilitating collaboration for years.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. 

"In areas where big breakthroughs are needed, we must step up joint working with others."
Unilever CEO Paul Polman

The 2 degrees network provides an online platform where many of the big players like Tesco and Asda Walmart share ideas and collaborate.

You can see some great examples of cross business/ competitor collaboration as part of the CE 100 projects initiatives right here.

  • These organisations are redefining what business actually is.
  • They recognize that there is a time critical factor to this work.
  • They recognize we need to accelerate learning and cross fertilization.
  • They recognize that by working together they can achieve more than the sum of the parts- in a quicker time frame.

A great way of collaborating with the competition that is low risk and low cost, is to start the process at the granular level with inter organisational mentorship. 

Cross business mentorship can pave the way for bigger collaborative projects down the line. 

We are aiming to introduce sustainability professionals to each other in order to increase impact and expedite sustainability. This is the perfect platform to build relationships across the industry sector or specialism  

Within our Sustainability Mentorship service it is possible to search for pairings within your industry and/ or sector. Click on the pairing of interest. Send a message. Book an online meeting... and off you go with your mentorship!



Daniel O'Connor

Daniel O'Connor

I use my time and experience to contribute to the transition to a regenerative sustainable society for all.