From tax evasion to emission scandals, to executive pay and working conditions, the last twelve months have been dominated by corporate scandal. It is an issue that soared to the top of the agenda once again on Monday, when Theresa May announced her proposals to reform corporate governance and restore trust in business and politics alike.
For now, there is still progress to be made. We want many more businesses to join the move to creating an enhanced contract with society and harness the influence and reach of their businesses to tackle key issues. In return businesses will unlock innovation, growth and long term opportunities. It's a win-win and it's time that every business recognised this.
Much has been reported in recent months about providing food to families who are struggling to make ends meet, but unfortunately there is a much broader and deeper side to this story: a desperate need for everyday essentials, items that are getting left off the weekly shop long before people turn to food hand-outs.
China has been an exportation hub for many years, supplying the rest of the globe with innumerable products on an ever-increasing scale. Unfortunately, it appears that an unwelcome additional extra has started to make its way around the world alongside these items: we're now also importing its pollution.
It is indisputable that chronic diseases are increasing, with conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease accounting for over 63% of deaths in the world today. These can be avoided or better managed through healthier lifestyle choices, presenting a clear need for focus on prevention as well as treatment.
With all the investment in behaviour change campaigns and infrastructure, why is there still material that can be recycled going into the bin in our homes? Only half of all plastic bottles are currently sent for recycling, revealing a significant gap between the strong environmental values people profess and their behaviour.