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BBA 2022 Winner Profile: Responsible Business – Global Perspectives
Written by Sterling Content
December 21, 2022
British Business Awards
Global Perspectives KK has been awarded a British Business Award (BBA) in Responsible Business, for creating positive social impact by transforming the way organisations work.
The Kanagawa Prefecture-based SME was recognised at the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s annual red carpet event in November, beating off stiff competition—including from multinational firms—in the hotly contested category.
Global Perspectives’ mission is to help organisations embed sustainability thinking and behaviours into the organisational culture to realise their potential for positive impact. As responsible business is at its core, the Global Perspectives team were overjoyed at winning the award and expressed hope that they can continue to grow their positive impact as more organisations seek to change the way they do business.
“We’ve been advocating sustainability for years, but no-one really knew what it was. Now it’s part of the vernacular, rather than just a trend or fad,” said Gavin Dixon, co-founder. “And, coming out of the pandemic, the old rules are not holding up as much; companies are looking at things differently, and are looking to external consultants like us to help them make changes.”
Indeed, the tumultuous impact of the past couple of years on the world of work has “completely changed the way companies think about their people,” he added.
Global Perspectives works with leaders at every level and across all functions in an organisation to understand how their role contributes to the company’s sustainability ambitions.
“Before [the pandemic], minimal time and money were invested in aligning people with sustainability strategy,” said Tove Kinooka, co-founder. “Now there is a lot more awareness of how people fit into the big picture … if you don’t have an understanding of why the company is doing this and what it means for your role, even the best strategy will fall flat.”
Founded in 2015, Global Perspectives works with major organisations across a wide range of industries and geographic regions, punching above its weight in delivering positive change.
“We’re a very small company so the impact we can have by ourselves, either on people or planet, is limited,” explained Kinooka. “We make an impact through working with large corporations and leveraging their influence and reach.”
One example is One Young World (OYW), a global community for young leaders representing more than 190 countries and 250 organisations that comes together every year at a summit designed “to confront the biggest challenges facing humanity.” Through working with teams of next-gen leaders in corporations on an eight-month sustainability intrapreneurship programme that includes the annual OYW summit, Global Perspectives enables their clients to take strategic action on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and deliver new business value.
In 2022, Global Perspectives has also been reaping the rewards of years of groundwork to establish the firm as a thought leader in organisational change and sustainability.
“We’ve built our brand around sustainability and being the go-to people who bring a different perspective. This year, we have been invited to add our voices to major global events, and we’re being listened to—that’s a big win for us,” said Dixon. “We’ve always been talking about this topic. Now people are coming to us, and we’re able to be part of much broader conversations.”
Kinooka agrees, noting that the firm has secured some large clients this year, which she attributes to the past seven years of conversations, networking and building of credibility. Working with such clients, she adds, allows Global Perspectives to dramatically increase its positive impact.
Expansion and opportunities
The past 12 months has also seen Global Perspectives launch enteleco, the dedicated sustainability arm of the company that aims to “unleash the power of human potential for sustainable impact.” Enteleco collaborates with an ecosystem of trusted expert partners to support the sustainability journey of global corporations, SMEs, NPOs, embassies and other entities “to turn ideas into tangible impact.”
With the setup of the new arm, Kinooka and Dixon say both lines of their business—the global leadership and the sustainability transformation components—have more scope to grow going into 2023 and beyond.
Looking ahead, the pair see even more opportunities as organisations of all sizes take meaningful and lasting steps towards more responsible business. This shift is being fuelled, in part, by a number of high-profile cases of companies being called out for greenwashing and values-washing, according to Kinooka.
“A lot of companies have been making grand promises on their websites and at events like COP26, but then not taking a lot of action. There have been a lot of good intentions but not much understanding of how to actually make those happen, and companies have not been developing their people to enable their sustainability strategies to succeed,” she explained.
Dixon, too, has noticed some companies pulling back on their green targets in recent months over fear of coming under fire for greenwashing.
“Companies are seeing that they have to be more realistic—that’s a good thing—and are looking at concrete actions that can be taken across the whole business” he said.
For Global Perspectives, that means more opportunities to support all people in organisations, not just the senior management, to be more responsible in operations. And such an integrated strategy is good for clients, partners and the planet, he added.
As the firm seeks to expand in 2023, the pair remain committed to their values including “focusing on impact, not profit” and building networks that add value and contribute to the greater good.
“We plan to do more open events focused on sustainability in industries such as fashion and food to help bring together people from different parts of the value chain,” said Kinooka.
This work builds on a successful collaboration this year with Hiroshima-based sustainability consultant JJ Walsh and LVMH Japan that brought together educators, corporations, SMEs, startups, NPOs, individuals, and students in a highly interactive and inspiring one day hybrid event.
“It’s something we’re really good at—creating the space, asking good questions, bringing different stakeholders together to help them understand each other’s challenges and perspectives, and then building an ecosystem around that,” she added.
By engaging all kinds of organisations and individuals, Kinooka and Dixon hope Global Perspectives can continue to shine a light on responsible business and make a lasting impact.