Other organisations we help
The Environment Foundation aims to 'sow the seeds of a sustainable future'. The image is from 1999's consultation at St George's House, Windsor Castle, on social dimensions of banking.
I never thought of myself as a potential 'Committee Man', certainly not in the Sixties, but this type of work has taken a good deal of my time over the years. Since the late 1970s, I calculate, it has been my privilege to sit on over 30 boards, advisory boards, councils and committees. Some of that time has been squandered, inevitably. My seven years with the European Commission's Consultative Forum on Sustainable Development, for example, were pretty taxing at times.
But, again, I can remember meetings when we were able to make a real difference. For example, I recall a meeting of the Global Reporting Initiative steering committee in the early days, high up in a New York skyscraper looking out towards the Statue of Liberty. With a couple of colleagues I pushed hard to have the GRI embrace a triple bottom line agenda, rather than their evolving into simply another set of environmental reporting guidelines. And we carried the day.
I have really enjoyed chairing The Environment Foundation, though the legal battle we fought over several years with the Charity Commissioners to get sustainable development accepted as a charitable objective had me wanting to do a Guy Fawkes on them. In the event, we won, and I am infinitely grateful to Helen Holdaway, the Foundation's Director, and to Stephen Lloyd, who took up the legal cudgels on our behalf.
I am also enormously grateful to my colleagues at SustainAbility for allowing me to do this work, almost all of which is done pro bono.
Currently, in addition to my SustainAbility role, I am:
Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Social and Environmental
Accounting Research (CSEAR)
I am pretty much a sleeping partner here, but (Professor) Rob Gray has been a long-standing colleague and friend. CSEAR was established in 1991 as networking institution which gathers and disseminates information about the practice and theory of social and environmental accounting and reporting. CSEAR provides a mechanism for academics and practitioners to make contact and support each other. It currently has over 300 members in over 30 countries.
Member of Dow Jones Sustainability Index Advisory Board
I have long admired the work of Reto Ringger and Alois Flatz of Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), both of whom have been members of the SustainAbility Faculty since its formation. I was invited to join the new DJSI Advisory Board in late 2003. Launched in 1999, the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are the first global indexes tracking the financial performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide. They provide asset managers with reliable and objective benchmarks to manage sustainability portfolios. More than 44 DJSI licenses are currently held by asset managers in 14 countries to manage a variety of financial products including active and passive funds, certificates and segregated accounts. In total, by late 2003, these licensees managed close to 2.2 billion EUR based on the DJSI.
Member of the Advisory Council of The Environmental Law Foundation
ELF is the national UK charity linking communities and individuals to legal and technical expertise to prevent damage to the environment and to improve its quality for all. Through its network of members, ELF provides people with information and advice on how the law can help resolve environmental problems such as pollution, development and health.
Chair of The Environment Foundation
A financial sector charity founded in 1983, The Environment Foundation was launched in 1983 and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2003. I joined as a Trustee in 1994 and was invited to take over as Chairman in 1995. Among other things, the Foundation has sponsored a series of Consultations at St George's House, Windsor Castle. A major recent coup was achieved when the Foundation fought the Charity Commissioners to establish sustainable development as a charitable objective for the first time. With the invaluable help of Stephen Lloyd of Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, we won and the Charity Commissioners now have a new charitable objective.
Chairman of the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD)
An unusual one this, given my aversion to most aspects of government, but the ECGD is the UK's official export credit agency. It is a separate Government department reporting to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. It derives its powers from the 1991 Export and Investment Guarantees Act.
Member, International Board, Instituto Ethos, Brazil
Ethos Institute is a leading CSR organization in South America and an
emerging global reference point on the theme. Its mission is "to
mobilize, encourage and help companies manage their business in a
socially responsible way, making them partners in building a
sustainable and fair society."
Patron of The Haller Foundation
Julia (Hailes) and I first came across Dr Rene Haller through the UN Global 500 network. He is working to transform the desert-like, lunar landscapes of a limestone quarry in Kenya into a series of interlinked wildlife conservation and sustainable agriculture projects.
Member of the Board of Trustees of the Business and Human
Rights Resource Centre, spun off (but still supported) by Amnesty International.
A fantastic organisation. The purpose of the Centre's website is to promote greater awareness and informed discussion of important issues relating to business and human rights. The online library covers over 150 topics, over 160 countries, over 150 industry sectors. The site is composed of links to a wide range of materials published by companies, NGOs, governments, intergovernmental organisations, journalists, academics, etc. It includes reports of corporate misconduct, as well as positive examples of 'best practice' by companies. Run by the indefatigable Chris Avery.
Member of Advisory Council, The Royal Society of Arts (RSA,
In 2004 the RSA celebrates its 250th Anniversary. To mark this occasion, the RSA has developed a new manifesto and programme of work for the 21st century consisting of five challenges to shape its future work:
Moving Towards a Zero Waste Society
Fostering Resilient Communities
Developing a Capable Population
Advancing Global Citizenship
Chair of the Social and Environmental Committee, Association
of Chartered and Certified Accountants (UK)
The Committee aims to explore the realms of ethical, social and environmental accounting, helping these fields to develop to the point where they can be more readily integrated into mainstream financial accounting.
- Commissioner, State of the World Forum Comission on Globalisation
- Member, International Selection Committee, World Business Awards in support of the Millennium Development Goals
- Non-executive director of the Association of Environmental Consultancies (AEC) from 1993-1995.
- Chairman of the Board of the Environment Faculty, Herning Institute of Business Administration & Technology, Denmark, from 1995 to 1998.
- A member of the European Union Consultative Forum on the Environment and Sustainable Development (1994-2001).
I have also served on committees, among others, for:
- AccountAbility, see ISEA.
- Anglian Water (Board Sustainability Committee, 1996-2003).
- Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB).
- European Partners for the Environment (EPE).
- Friends of the Earth (FoE).
- Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).
- ICI Polyurethanes.
- ING Sustainability Investment Fund Advisory Board (ING)
- Institute for Social and Ethical Accountability (ISEA).
- Institute of Environmental Management (IEM).
- Merlin Ecology Fund.
- National Provident Institution (NPI).
- National Wildlife Federation's Corporate Conservation Council (NWF, US)
- Nature Conservancy Council (NCC).
- New Economics Foundation (NEF).
- The Other Economic Summit (TOES).
- World Resources Institute (WRI, US).
- World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF).