£280bn business coalition backs sustainability over economic growth

A coalition of UK businesses with turnover of more than £280bn have thrown their weight behind a new macro-economic roadmap for Britain that prioritises sustainability and equality over growth.

The campaign, called An Economy That Works, is based around a recent report of the same name from the environmental lobbyist group Aldersgate Group.

The report warns that growth alone is unsustainable and the UK should instead focus on low carbon, high employment, equality of opportunity and preserving natural resources.

The coalition – which includes Aviva Investors, BT, Friends of the Earth, Interface, Kingfisher, M&S, National Grid, Nestlé and Sky – will work with the UK Government to identify key policy levers for change and encourage wider uptake of innovative business practices.

Beyond GDP

Aldersgate Group chair Peter Young said: “Despite encouraging UK growth figures, we risk getting stuck with reduced wellbeing, rising inequality, continued loss of natural capital and rising resource pressures.

“Policymakers urgently need to look beyond GDP to define successful growth – setting far more coherent policy goals which strengthen the links between our economy, our society and the environment.”

Government support?

Launched less than six months before the 2015 General Election, the campaign criticises the current Government for “neglecting the need to plan for sustainable growth”.

Campaign director Oliver Dudok van Heel said: “Many of our member companies are championing best practice and progressive social and environmental policies that will keep our economy in the fast lane.

“This campaign is an ambitious attempt to draw these strands together into a joined-up roadmap for policymakers that will help insulate UK society from future economic shocks.”

VIDEO: Kingfisher CEO Sir Ian Cheshire explains why his company supports An Economy That Works

Brad Allen

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