The Midtown Big Ideas Exchange brings Midtown businesses together to share knowledge pan-industry and regardless of scale of operation or reach. We all have business goals that require the fundamentals of, talent management, office accommodation, and responsible supply chain procurement, through to strategic business development and innovation.
Our 2019/2020 programme focused on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) – these are a set of targets agreed by the UN in 2015. We identified four where we believe Midtown businesses can have the biggest impact – Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10); Sustainable Cities And Communities (SDG 11); Responsible Consumption And Production (SDG 12); and Partnerships For The Goals (SDG 17).
Using the UN SDGs our series of debates over 2019/2020 focused on the growing shift in sustainable business practices and how these are driving business growth. Attendees took part and debated with their peers, as well as sustainable development specialists, about the practical steps that are already being taken in Midtown to bring about positive change.
The full 2019/20 MBIE programme comprised of:
The content hub of the Midtown Big Ideas Exchange includes audio, visual, digital and dynamic content, all looking at this season’s focus – four of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Here, a series of video interviews reflects the opportunities and impacts of SDG10, Reduced Inequalities; SDG11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG12, Responsible Consumption and Production, and SDG17, Partnerships for the Goals, from the points of view of a range of Midtown business leaders.
Sarah Hunter, corporate social responsibility director at Euromonitor International in Clerkenwell, talks about hyper-local initiatives that can contribute to tackling climate change. She also believes that action taken in Midtown, a home to large and influential businesses such as Google, can encourage positive change more widely - Euromonitor donates 1% of its turnover to charities each year, about £1.5 million currently, according to Hunter.
"Part of the reason for being involved in BEE Midtown is to be able to share this activity with other companies to encourage them to do it as well.".View Video
Chair of BEE Midtown and chief economist at engineering firm Arup, Alexander Jan shines a light on sustainability – and how important it is for business growth. Many businesses in the district are already sustainability champions.
"Midtown’s businesses are in a great position to use their influence to help drive changes through the supply chain and help smaller companies to deliver on the SDGs".View Video
The built environment contributes about 40% of the UK's total carbon footprint, mostly from the energy used inside. BDP director Graham McClements looks at the role that architects and planners can play in building sustainable cities. He talks about designing buildings and urban spaces that are demonstrably sustainable, with efficient use of materials and energy, and by creating green spaces, sustainability can be achieved in different ways.
"We can also drive business growth if we can add social value, and if we can be seen to be good neighbours… Districts can sustain success if they can create an identity and a purpose".View Video
Zetter Group's Mark Sainsbury urges businesses to look locally for supplies, reuse and recycle – and make a difference globally.
"Business as usual is just not an option”, he says. “Consumers are demanding higher levels of traceability, accountability and responsibility in the brands that they are buying and the hotels in which they stay".View Video
The Midtown Big Ideas Exchange podcasts, alongside our series of events and debates, focus on the growing shift in sustainable business practices and how these are driving business growth.
EPISODE 3: The third podcast of the Midtown Big Ideas Exchange programme looks at the topic of Creativity and Sustainability.
Alex Howard and Anthony Goodey of Clerkenwell Design Week talk to Michael Wilson about the rich history of Midtown as a design hub, why it is now both a commercial and moral imperative that businesses act sustainably and how creative industry events are pushing the sustainable development agenda forward.