Brands are facing a new competitive landscape in which self-definition, core values and purpose will increasingly define their ability to reach customers…” Simon Mainwaring.

The desire for a life of purpose beyond the drudgery of work, mindless consumption and shallow self-interest, has long been considered the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Increasingly, “purpose” is also the key to business success with consumers demanding more from the companies and brands they support and the products they purchase.

Smart businesses are tapping into this conscious consumption trend, looking to embed real, sustainable values and genuine purpose into their brands, vision and mission.

But what is the bottom-line value of purpose for business?

A recent research report from the UK’s Big Innovation Centre found that companies with a declared purpose perform better on key metrics over time than their less purposeful peers.

Consumer brand powerhouse, Unilever, are perhaps the most compelling demonstration of the truth at the heart of this finding. In 2016, the company’s Sustainable Living brands grew 50% faster than the rest of its business and accounted for more than 60% of its growth. The company’s own research also found that 50% of people now buy or want to buy brands that are more sustainable and this percentage is forecast to grow over the coming years.

For our July Crowd Forum, we looked at “The Value of Purpose”, and were thrilled to have Unilever’s esteemed CMO, Keith Weed, joining us on stage. Keith was joined by purposeful business leaders, Will Gardner (Co-Founder & ex-CEO of Collectively), Geraldine Matchett (CFO at DSM) and Justin Basini, (Co-Founder & CEO of ClearScore and author of “Why Should Anyone Buy From You?”).

We went beyond the “feels”, and delved into the real business value of purpose.

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Event for: Directors/ Heads of: Sustainability | CSR | Environment | HR


  • Geraldine Matchett

    Chief Financial Officer, Royal DSM
  • Justin Basini

    CEO, ClearScore
  • Keith Weed

    Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever
  • Solitaire Townsend

    Co-Founder, Futerra
  • Will Gardner

    Co-Founder & ex-CEO, Collectively

Round Tables

  • Are People Prepared To Pay A Premium For Purpose?
    There is a growing body of evidence that consumers are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for products and services that align with their values and make them feel good about their purchasing decisions. But what is the sweet spot between price and purpose? How can companies determine what will generate the best returns? Does purpose even need to attract premium pricing?
  • Building Purposeful, Profitable Brands
    How can companies create authentic, lasting and genuinely purposeful brands? Is there a distinction for business between social purpose and brand purpose? Or are they intrinsically interrelated? In an age of declining trust in brands and institutions, when a mismatch between professed brand values and real-world actions can be devastating, what are the consequences and brand risk management considerations for businesses? How can companies avoid a catastrophic disconnect between marketing spin and customer perceptions?
  • Building The Business Case For Purpose
    Evidence is growing that purpose-led business is a key driver of value, but most businesses struggle to take what they see as a leap of faith. This is particularly true in the case of climate action, emissions reduction and resource management. How can sustainability leaders build the business case and inspire the Board and C-suite to take real action on climate, energy and resources? How do you determine ROI & costs vs benefits? How do you justify investment in long-term climate and carbon action, against demands for short term profits and stakeholder dividends?
  • Creating A Culture Of Purpose With Your People
    Multiple surveys have shown that employees want to work for companies that demonstrate that purpose is core to their business. The creation of a genuinely purpose-driven culture makes companies a magnet for attracting and retaining quality people. What is the ripple-effect of a purposeful corporate culture? Does this help create an employee-led competitive advantage? How can companies ensure that their culture is both purpose-led and profitable?
  • Is It Purpose Vs. Profits? Or Purpose = Profits?
    Our current model of profit maximisation and obsession with stakeholder returns, too often favours short-term benefits at the expense of long-term sustainability. But what if the goal of a business wasn’t profit maximisation but purpose and we viewed profitability as a means of achieving a purpose? Do we need a new way of measuring profit that better incorporates purpose and broader outcomes? How do we change the stakeholder conversation and perceptions from “purpose vs profits” to “purpose = profits”?
  • Profiting From Low-Carbon Energy Transitions
    While climate change is one of the greatest risks we face, tackling it is also one of our biggest economic opportunities. The low carbon revolution is already offering huge opportunities for business, the economy and society as a whole. Purposeful companies have the potential to unleash a wave of innovation in low carbon technologies, creating new products and services, generating employment, reducing energy consumption and increasing savings if the right policies are in place. But how can sustainability leaders help their companies make the move? What are effective tactics for getting energy into boardroom conversations? How about fear of missing out (FOMO) on innovations that could ultimately help companies sell more stuff?
  • Purpose, Innovation And Collaboration
    The rapid growth of the social impact and innovation sector, peer-to-peer platforms, B-Corp movement, and collaborative sustainability coalitions across multiple industries are evidence of a cultural shift towards more conscious, impactful, entrepreneurial and positive models of business innovation and purposeful collaboration. How can established businesses tap into this entrepreneurial and impactful zeitgeist? Why should companies see purpose as a driver of innovation? How can purposeful collaboration create new revenue streams and opportunities for business? What are the business drivers of collaborating around shared purpose with partners and competitors alike?
  • The Bottom-Line Value Of Values
    Is there a disconnect between “corporate value” and “corporate values”? Is it more lucrative for companies to be true to their values, or is that a luxury only afforded to already profitable companies? How can companies leverage their values as a competitive differentiator that generates bottom-line benefits? What is the impact on revenue from safeguarding reputational and supply chain risks? Does it profit a company to really commit to purpose across the full length of its value chain?
  • The Business Imperative For Taking Climate Action
    Is one of the roles of responsible business, to de-risk the political process? When the Trump Administration recently announced it was pulling the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, it was met with a chorus of disapproval from across the business sector, with many CEOs expressing their determined commitment to stay the course on climate action. In the absence of national government leadership, how can businesses step up their game? How can companies stop seeing climate action as a cost, and more as a business opportunity? How useful are collaborative, peer-influencing and benchmarking initiatives such as the RE100?
  • The SDG’s As Strategic Business Opportunity
    It has been estimated that the value to business of achieving the SDGs globally is a staggering £12 trillion. There is also little doubt that there is a much lower cost for business in fixing causes than outcomes. The Sustainable Development Goals are a great way of framing purpose for business and unifying around objectives and outcomes. How can companies deeply ingrain the SDGs and wield them as an opportunity to drive bottom-line benefits? How can companies quantify projected returns from actively working towards achievement of the SDGs? This table will explore the strategic business opportunities presented by the SDGs.
  • Where Does Sustainability Leave Purpose?


  • 17:30
    Arrivals and Networking
  • 18:00
    Welcome from Daniel McMurray, Chief Catalyst, The Crowd
  • 18:05
    Keynote from Will Gardner, Collectively
  • 18:25
    Solitaire Townsend in discussion with Will Gardner, Keith Weed, Geraldine Matchett, Justin Basini
  • 19:15
    Roundtable discussions (moderated discussions of 10-12)
  • 20:00
    Drinks and Networking
  • 20:00

Venue Details

Chartered Insurance Institute, 20 Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HY.

Who's Attending

Director of Sustainability AB Agri Ltd
Global Director: Energy and Fluids ABInbev
Principal Consultant Acre
Senior consultant, Global Banking & Finance Acre
Head of Finance and Sustainability Adnams
Environmental Sustainability Manager Adnams
Manager CR Amazon UK
Senior Sustainability Manager Amazon UK
Investor Amber Infrastructure
Head of Sustainability Anglian Water
Global Head of Marketing Anthesis
Associate Director Anthesis
Director Anthesis
Senior Ethical Trading Manager Arcadia Group Limited
Supplier Management Coordinator Arcadia Group Limited
Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility Aviva
Group Corporate Responsibility Manager Aviva
Community Builder B Lab UK
Community Manager B Lab UK
Director, Finance & Operations B Team
High Growth & Entrepreneurs Manager Barclays
Environment Manager Barclays
Director Barclays
Green Finance Initiative BEIS
Corporate Responsibility Executive Belron
Transformation Programme Lead Belron
Leadership Transformation Lead Belron
Head of Sustainability Bilfinger GVA
Commercial Development Manager Bioregional
Development Manager Bouygues
Environmental Manager Bouygues
Senior Sustainability Advisor Bouygues UK
Strategy BP
Climate Science and Sustainability Manager BP
Corporate Citizenship Manager British Gas
Group Head of Social Responsibility British Standards Institute (BSI)
Director Brunswick
Responsibility Project Manager Burberry Ltd
Head of Corporate Responsibility Camelot
Sustainability Analyst Capgemini
Community Engagement Advisor Cargill Plc
Corporate Client Manager Charities Aid Foundation
Corporate Advisor Charities Aid Foundation
Corporate Client Manager Charities Aid Foundation
Social Impact Manager COOK Trading
Partnership Manager Cool Earth
Director Corporate Citizenship
General Secretary UK & Ireland Danone
B Corp Manager Danone
Principal David Butter Consulting
Director David Short Consulting Ltd
Global Internal Communications Manager Dentsu Aegis Network
Associate Deutsche Bank
Global Sustainability Policy & Reporting Diageo
Sustainable Sourcing Manager Diageo
Principle Consultant, UK Sustainability Business Assurance DNV GL
Principal Consultant DNV GL
Senior Consultant DNV GL
Principal Consultant DNV GL
Group Business Development Direector Domino Printing UK Plc
CSR manager Dr. Martens
Development Manager Earthwatch Institute
Executive Director Energy for Humanity
Global Leader, EY Beacon Institute & Executive Director, Markets EY
Senior Manager EY
Co-founder & Executive Director Future Fit Foundation
Director of Strategy Gemserv Ltd
Charity Engagement Executive GivingForce
Head of Charity Engagement GivingForce Limited
CEO GivingForce Limited
Managing Partner Global Action Plan
Senior Executive- Public Affairs, Policy and Insight Grant Thornton LLP
Sustainability Executive Grant Thornton UK LLP
Partner Grant Thornton UK LLP
Head of Client Care Grant Thornton UK LLP
Executive Grant Thornton UK LLP
Partner Grant Thornton UK LLP
Director, Public Affairs & Policy Grant Thornton UK LLP
Senior PR Executive Grant Thornton UK LLP
Principal GreenOak
Environment & Energy Manager Hammerson
Senior Consultant Hopscotch Consulting
Sustainability Executive ICAEW
Sustainability Manager ICAEW
Lead Researcher IKEA
Head of Sustainable & Healthy Living IKEA
Head of Sustainability Informa Plc
Sustainability Officer Innocent Drinks
Co-Founder InSpring
BDM Integrated Environmental Solutions
Director Intentional
Global Key Account Direcctor Interface
Innovation Partner Interface
Assistant Project Manager International Maritime Organization
CR Manager Intu Properties
Marketing Director JLL
Operations Sustainability Manager King’s College London
Client Solutions Consultant Lane4
Client Experience Lane4 Group
Investment Manager LGTIV
Senior Account Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
Senior Development Manager Lightsource Renewable Energy
Head of UK PPA Lightsource Renewable Energy
Director of Partnerships and Community Engagement Lloyds Banking Group
Brand & Marketing M&S
Director of Sustainability Mace Ltd
Brand & Marketing Manager – Plan A Marks & Spencer
Senior Plan A Manager Marks and Spencer
Store Visualisation Manager Marks and Spencer
Do the Right Thing Manager Nando’s
Senior Social Investment Manager Nationwide Building Society
Managing Director, Europe Natural Capital Partners
Founder Neighbourly
Client Engagement Neighbourly
Co-Founder Nice and Serious
L&D and OD Lead NMC
Divisional Director Nord Anglia Education
Note Taker
Head of Partnerships & Social Impact O2
Head of CR & Env OneTel
Head of Creative Responsibility Penguin Group UK
Creative Responsibility Coordinator Penguin Random House UK
Head of Marketing & Communications Philips
Director of Communications & Innovation Philips Lighting
Group Energy & Environment Manager Prudential plc
Head of CR Prudential UK & Europe
CR Manager PWC
Director Responsible 100
Principal adviser, Brand and Communications Rio Tinto
Senior Sustainability Manager Sainsbury’s
Head of CR & Sustainability Sainsbury’s
Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Officer Sainsbury’s
Group CSR & Sustainability Manager Santander UK
Sustainability Manager Santander UK
ESG Analyst Schroders
HSE Manager Shell
Social Performance Adviser Shell
Ambassador Singularity University
Financial Industry Analyst South Pole Group
Key Account Manager South Pole Group
Marketing Specialist SSE Business Energy
Marketing Manager SSE Enterprise Energy Solutions
Associate System IQ
MD Talik & Company Ltd
Head of Corporate Social Responsibility TalkTalk
Dir Sustainability Taylor Wimpey
Senior Partnerships Manager Telefónica UK (O2)
Corporate Reporting Manager Tesco
Campaigns Manager Tesco Plc
Sustainable Sourcing Manager The Body Shop
International corporate communications director The Body Shop
Event Manager The Crowd
Chair The Crowd
Chief Catalyst The Crowd
Co-Founder The Crowd
Brand and Marketing Manager The Crown Estate
Director The SHM Foundation
Sustainability Marketing Manager TUI Travel
Sustainability Manager UBM EMEA
Community Affairs and Project Manager UBS
Group Energy & Environment Manager Unite Group Plc
Head of Sustainability University Of Greenwich
Managing Director Verco
Director of Innovation Virgin
Sustainability Manager Virgin Media
Quality Manager Viridor Waste Management Ltd
Project Breakthrough Lead Volans
Net-Zero Manager We Mean Business
Content Editor We Mean Business
Corporate Stewardship Engagement Manager WWF
Head of Corporate Stewardship – Food & Water WWF
Head International Development Policy WWF
Project Manager Wyndham Hotel Group Europe Limited
Senior Advisor Xynteo