Fair for the Future
Sustainability Principles
Fair for the Future
Sustainability Principles

Sustainability is increasingly being recognised as key to resilience and survival - for people and planet.

 

The Sustainability Principles Project will run from Summer 2021 to Winter 2022 and is focused on the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. In this phase, the project is limited to the essential services of energy, water and communications.  

 

Our new major project aims to: 

1. Support the paradigm shift in mindsets starting to take place in regulators, policy makers and companies in essential services so through their culture and processes they take a fundamentally different and more sustainable approach.

2. Encourage and inspire employees and leaders in essential services to think big about sustainability (eg around the future roles of utility businesses) and strategically embed the changes that are starting to occur throughout their organisations.

3. Develop and test a set of Plain English ‘Sustainability Principles’ that can be practically understood, applied and adopted by economic decision makers as a key part of a consistent measurement framework for sustainable change.

 

This project builds on our previous New-Pin and Fair for the Future project work.  These projects had identified the following issues and gaps in terms of delivering sustainability and long-term public interest outcomes in utilities:  

- How companies, regulators and policy makers interact (both within and between sectors) -  in the past, approaches to sustainability have often been siloed and not systematically embedded into core strategic economic decision making, including around roles and responsibilities. 

- How the law and regulation are interpreted by all sides - for thirty years, economic decision making has been narrowly framed and has suffered from both the tragedy of the horizon and tragedy of the commons.  It will take time to overcome existing behavioural biases and the power of precedents to get the change in mindsets, culture and attitudes needed for the transformational shift necessary for true sustainability. 

- How policy and regulation are implemented in practice - measurement and reporting are starting to change but these need to be accompanied by new knowledge, skills and processes to enable the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

As we set out in our Sustainability Principles Viewpoint last October, policies, institutions and reporting all need to change to deliver a sustainable future.  However, our work indicates that without a fundamental shift in principles, culture and processes, we will struggle to deliver more sustainable outcomes.  This project will address this issue.

The project will engage civil society groups so that our proposed Sustainability Principles reflect their concerns and resonate with the wider public.  We will work with decision makers to develop ‘use cases’ to test how the principles can work in practice. 

We are in the process of setting-up a Project Steering Group to guide the project and take outcomes forward.  If you would like to be involved in this project, please do get in touch. 

Sustainability is increasingly being recognised as key to resilience and survival - for people and planet.

 

The Sustainability Principles Project will run from Summer 2021 to Winter 2022 and is focused on the social, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. In this phase, the project is limited to the essential services of energy, water and communications.  

 

Our new major project aims to: 

1. Support the paradigm shift in mindsets starting to take place in regulators, policy makers and companies in essential services so through their culture and processes they take a fundamentally different and more sustainable approach.

2. Encourage and inspire employees and leaders in essential services to think big about sustainability (eg around the future roles of utility businesses) and strategically embed the changes that are starting to occur throughout their organisations.

3. Develop and test a set of Plain English ‘Sustainability Principles’ that can be practically understood, applied and adopted by economic decision makers as a key part of a consistent measurement framework for sustainable change.

 

This project builds on our previous New-Pin and Fair for the Future project work.  These projects had identified the following issues and gaps in terms of delivering sustainability and long-term public interest outcomes in utilities:  

- How companies, regulators and policy makers interact (both within and between sectors) -  in the past, approaches to sustainability have often been siloed and not systematically embedded into core strategic economic decision making, including around roles and responsibilities. 

- How the law and regulation are interpreted by all sides - for thirty years, economic decision making has been narrowly framed and has suffered from both the tragedy of the horizon and tragedy of the commons.  It will take time to overcome existing behavioural biases and the power of precedents to get the change in mindsets, culture and attitudes needed for the transformational shift necessary for true sustainability. 

- How policy and regulation are implemented in practice - measurement and reporting are starting to change but these need to be accompanied by new knowledge, skills and processes to enable the fulfilment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 

As we set out in our Sustainability Principles Viewpoint last October, policies, institutions and reporting all need to change to deliver a sustainable future.  However, our work indicates that without a fundamental shift in principles, culture and processes, we will struggle to deliver more sustainable outcomes.  This project will address this issue.

The project will engage civil society groups so that our proposed Sustainability Principles reflect their concerns and resonate with the wider public.  We will work with decision makers to develop ‘use cases’ to test how the principles can work in practice. 

We are in the process of setting-up a Project Steering Group to guide the project and take outcomes forward.  If you would like to be involved in this project, please do get in touch. 

Project Partners

 

  • BT
  • KPMG
  • Northern Gas Networks
  • SSEN
  • South East Water
  • Scottish Power Energy Networks
  • UK Power Networks
  • Wessex Water 

Project Partners

- BT
- KPMG
- Northern Gas Networks
- SSEN
- South East Water
- Scottish Power Energy Networks
- UK Power Networks
- Wessex Water 

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