Julian

40 Years in the Making - watch the story of Greenpeace

How should large companies engage with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) like Greenpeace? Many see them as a threat or at the very least not relevant to their businesses. Well it’s my team’s responsibility to engage with NGOs for Asda – something which we have invested a lot of time in over the past four years and value very highly.

We believe in active listening and as much as possible to take on board and react positively to what we are told. No-one can doubt that we are experts in retail and have one of the most challenging environmental strategies of any retailer – especially when you consider the size of our operations and supply chain – BUT – even with this expertise, NGOs like Greenpeace often look at issues from a different angle and bring their own specialist knowledge.

We would be remiss if we didn’t talk to all experts and reflect on what they say. My experience has been to find them sensible, well grounded in science and polite. This is the same for most other NGOs too, but I want to make this blog about Greenpeace specifically.

In the last 40 years, Greenpeace has been behind some major changes – whether stopping nuclear testing or bearing witness to activities harming our planet. I’ll leave you to reflect on whether you think this is for the better or not but I do recommend spending 5 minutes watching their 40th birthday film to better understand what motivates them and how they became the organisation they are today.

Whatever your views, Asda will continue to proactively engage with Greenpeace and other NGOs as in many areas their aims and those of our Sustainability 2.0 strategy are the same and through working together we can deliver these common aims faster.

So Happy Birthday Greenpeace.

Posted by Julian on 15 September 2011
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