Europe is facing a time of great change and disruption. In addition to challenges affecting the whole globe—including climate change, the pandemic and inequality—Europe is dealing political upheaval, economic uncertainty and a war that’s on our own soil, something we pledged would never happen again.
These are big challenges, and big companies must play a big role in solving these.
The sheer market power of European businesses grants them the ability—and responsibility—to vastly change the way our world works for the better. But the thing is, no company can do it alone. We need more collaboration across sectors, between companies and importantly the societies they are a part of. This is why Europe Delivers was created; to foster these connections and lead from the front by showing how organisations can do well for the bottom line by doing good for the world.
DRIVING GOOD GROWTH, TOGETHER
Europe Delivers is an ecosystem. It’s a community of companies committed to changing the world every day.
Our partners have pledged to create a sea change in the way business is done through the development of pioneering new growth models, engaging in deep collaboration and moving from ‘out of the box thinking’ to ‘out of the box doing’.
If there’s one theme that runs throughout all our work, it’s action. Our execution model focusses in on building real projects around four Impact Tracks: Talent and Human Prosperity, Digitally Transformative Growth, Decarbonisation of Strategic Sectors and Sustainable and Resilient Value Chains. These Impact Tracks are a useful device for organizing our work, but what’s truly special about them is how they intersect and interplay with one another. Looking at how, for instance, Digitally Transformative Growth can both bolster and be stimulated by Talent and Human Prosperity encapsulates our dedication to new models of value, cross-sector collaboration and growth for good.
Ten years ago, I would have told you that shareholder primacy would always reign supreme. But now, for the first time in a long time, there’s an imperative to invent a new way to think about growth in our economies. Business leaders are already thinking about what value means, not only for their own business but for the planet as well, with the increasing immediacy of global issues challenging every CEO to take a hard look at their business model and look at what their supply chain will look like in 10-, 20- and 50-years’ time. We are at a tipping point where not being part of the solution means you are part of the problem, and will be left behind by customers, investors and employees.
There has been a habit of thinking about new growth models as a burden or a risk, that an altruistic action will harm commercial viability. Europe Delivers doesn’t see it that way. In fact, we see this pivot to a sustainable and inclusive future as one of the most significant commercial opportunities ever seen. Decarbonising Europe’s heavy industry alone could generate more than 200 billion euros annually in net value by 2030. Working with nature rather than against it, building in benefits for the many not the few, and planning for generations instead of fiscal years will build unimaginable resilience into the businesses that have the power to put Europe’s competitiveness on a par with global market.
INVESTING IN POSITIVE IMPACT
To truly bring about the changes we want to see, we’re going to need to move away from the siloed mindset we’ve been operating in, where industries and companies mainly innovate among themselves without consideration for the wider world. But it doesn’t end with businesses, we need to bring new kinds of partners to the table, such as policymakers, communities and individuals. From my time at the Tony Blair Institute, it’s clear that when policy and innovation come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve.
There are young people who are running around with ideas we’ve never even imagined. There are communities facing the on-the ground realities of climate change and inequality who are innovating at breakneck speed, because there is no other alternative. There is a new generation of politicians who want their governments to implement nimble policies to respond to evolving challenges. All of these parties need to be at the table.
Companies must also break the habit of protecting their own innovations, as the benefits are much greater when shared. We need industry-wide and cross-industry collaboration among the companies that shape our daily realities. The power and the promise of this new paradigm is borne out in nascent collaborations, as in our inclusive gig economy project with Mastercard, where we engaged more than 60 flexible workers, businesses, entrepreneurs, FinTech start-ups, labour groups, universities and NGOs to identify and develop commercially viable and scalable opportunities that can create financial safety nets for workers in the gig economy.
While the challenges we face are enormous and multidimensional, I am 100% confident that we have the right partners in our coalition to solve them. Europe Delivers has the potential to cast a big vision for the future of our continent and our planet. With combined annual revenues of more than €500 billion and nearly 1.3 million employees strong across sectors, our partners have the commercial and cultural heft to really bring exciting, creative solutions to build a strong future for Europe.
As our coalition gathers momentum, I am eager to see more partners join our ecosystem of change. Together, we can and will put business to work for the benefit of the planet and all who share it.
Or contact us to find out how we can help your leaders and organisation create planet-positive and inclusive growth.