Interview with Sir Ian Cheshire



“We need a new industrial model, where growth, profitability and sustainability are self-reinforcing, and An Economy That Works provides a clear overarching framework for policy-makers to make this happen.”

Ramón Arratia
Sustainability Director, Interface EMEA

“An Economy That Works offers a clear framework to guide the transition towards a prosperous and sustainable UK. It provides compelling evidence that a greener, smarter economy is critical for stability, resilience and wellbeing today and in the future”

Andy Atkins
Executive Director, Friends of the Earth



“To build a sustainable economy for the future, we need a comprehensive solution. An Economy That Works offers a positive vision for the future that takes into account the multitude of environmental and social issues we face today, setting out practical and realisable steps to achieve it.”

Fiona Ball
Head of Responsible Business, Sky

“Infinite, high-resource intensive growth upon which our business and economy is currently based is simply no longer possible. We are already experiencing significant exposure to scarcity and raw material price increases. We are going to have to adjust to a very different reality. Forward thinking businesses are already re-thinking their business models. ‘An Economy That Works’ provides UK plc with a compelling framework for how we could transition our economy to embrace a prosperous, competitive and sustainable future at the macro level. This is difficult but necessary thinking. No-one has all the answers but ‘An Economy That Works’ offers a comprehensive framework with tangible policy suggestions. It provides a much welcome springboard for an authentic conversation about the future shape of our economy and the purpose we want it to serve.”

Sir Ian Cheshire
Group Chief Executive, Kingfisher plc


“Policy-makers have tended to treat the economy as series of disparate challenges – raw materials, energy resources, jobs, skills, etc. None of these will of themselves deliver a robust economy. “An Economy that Works” takes an enlightened approach, identifying six core environmental and sociological characteristics of an economy that must be developed in tandem if we are to create the growing, sustainable, resilient economy we strive for. The UK economy is at a crossroads. Developed piecemeal, and we risk falling behind our global competitors. “An Economy that Works” offers sound policies and a roadmap that if followed, will future-proof our economy.”

Gev Eduljee
Director of External Affairs, SITA UK

“There are good examples of British businesses who are now adopting the practices that will enable them to be competitive in the 21st century and to improve the prosperity and productivity of the workforce. A collaborative perspective is vital if extreme inequality in the UK is to be moderated. Leading business practices need to be supported by an economy and an industrial policy that are also fit for the 21st century. The characteristics and enablers identified in “An Economy That Works” are key to building such an economy.”

Duncan Exley
Executive Director, The Equality Trust


“To help address one of the greatest challenges facing our society – delivering clean, reliable and affordable energy to support our world long into the future – we need a systemic approach that can meet our long-term needs while ensuring short-term stability. An Economy That Works offers a clear sense of direction towards such an approach by highlighting the importance of an economy that delivers skills, jobs and innovation while minimising our environmental footprint.”

Steve Holliday
CEO, National Grid

“Everyone in Britain needs ‘An Economy that Works’. It’s a brilliantly conceived and executed initiative that will bring together the type of broad-based coalition that is essential to move our economy and society onto a more sustainable footing. We see ‘An Economy that Works’ as highly relevant to our mission to promote responsible investment of the nation’s pension savings.”

Catherine Howarth
CEO, Share Action


“We live in uncertain times, dominated by resource scarcity, social inequality and climate change. For business to be a truly positive and restorative power in society, we need a policy framework that prioritises and rewards behaviours that can deliver the most prosperity to citizens and businesses. An Economy That Works could be that framework.”

Richard Gillies
Group Sustainability Director, Kingfisher

“Forward-looking companies and business leaders are increasingly recognising that aiming for corporate sustainability is just good business. Business schools need to understand and teach this new business normal. Not enough are yet doing so. Business-led manifestos like An Economy That Works are an important part of the evidence-base for creating change in business schools.”

David Grayson
Director of the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield School of Management


“With the right policy support we can have a safe, secure, affordable and sustainable energy future. An Economy That Works offers some clear guidance that will help make the right decisions to ensure that we can deliver the long-term energy policy and infrastructure that Britain’s economy needs.”

Janine Freeman
Corporate Affairs Director, National Grid

“An Economy That Works offers a clear framework to guide the transition towards a prosperous and sustainable UK. It provides compelling evidence that a greener, smarter economy is critical for stability, resilience and wellbeing today and in the future”

Andy Atkins
Executive Director, Friends of the Earth


“Globally, there is talk of “secular stagnation” in living standards and well-being. If so, avoiding that risk is among the greatest challenges facing global policymakers today. “An Economy That Works” offers a new and important long-term roadmap of potholes to avoid, and avenues to explore, in doing so.”

Andy Haldane
Chief Economist, Bank of England

“A sustainable future depends on the radical redesign of the global economy that takes into account economic, environmental and social impacts. An Economy That Works has a framework that can move us further faster.”

Dan Hendrix
Chairman and CEO, Interface Inc.


“Single-issue policymaking is struggling to address the complex social and environmental challenges of our time. The Economy that Works coalition has a relentlessly positive vision and its systemic blueprint for creating decent jobs, delivering equal opportunity, and enhancing wellbeing across the UK is exciting and galvanising.”

Sir Richard Lambert
Former Director-General of the CBI

“Kier invests in, builds, maintains and renews the places where we live, work and play, daily contributing to our growing and thriving economy. An Economy That Works provides a framework that could help us to make decisions that deliver increased wellbeing, competitiveness and prosperity for this and future generations.”

Haydn Mursell
Chief Executive Officer, Kier Group


“An Economy that Works sets out a clear, practical and positive framework for a sustainable productive economy. It has a relevance for us all.”

Peter Nixon
Director of Conservation, National Trust

“The purpose of the economy is supposed to be to improve people’s lives. ‘An Economy That Works’ provides a thoughtful framework to help make that more of a reality. The task for the next Government must now be to implement the policies that will turn some of these benefits into reality.”

David Nussbaum
Executive Director, WWF UK


“With the Economy That Works framework we have a clear guide as to how the UK economy could become not just more competitive and sustainable in future, but also how we can ensure that our society becomes more equal too. It’s important that any gains as we shift towards a low-carbon economy must be shared, not concentrated in the hands of an already wealthy few. Paying workers a decent wage, and giving everyone the opportunity to achieve, whatever their background, is crucial if that important goal is to be achieved. Government, employers and unions must work together on an industrial strategy that is both green and smart, which invests in the technologies that will make the UK a world leader, and which promotes a healthy, prosperous and sustainable economy.”

Frances O’Grady
General Secretary, TUC

“There’s an interesting hypothesis out there that when the facts change, people’s opinions might change accordingly. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the case in terms of today’s dominant orthodoxies, almost all of which sustain themselves in a largely fact-free zone. Hence the pressing need for ‘An Economy That Works’, as defined and elaborated in this excellent new initiative.”

Jonathon Porritt
Co-Founder Forum for the Future


“Often, the investment decisions that can offer genuine value to investors and society don’t deliver returns overnight, yet short-term performance remains the way in which asset managers are judged, and rewarded. An Economy That Works offers a framework that can support long-term value creation and deliver lasting prosperity to investors, society and the environment.”

Anne Richards
Chief Investment Officer, Aberdeen Asset Management

“In today’s operating environment reducing energy and carbon use is increasingly becoming a business, regulatory and environmental imperative. An Economy That Works provides a powerful overarching framework that can grow business competitiveness while reducing environmental impact.”

Mike Sewell
Head of Energy, Kier Group


“Despite its dominance in national debate its striking how little discussion there is about what kind of economy we want. We want new infrastructure but to what end? We want new investment but to meet which objective? An Economy That Works is great because it describes a system that most of us would like to live and work in – smarter, more innovative, and less resource heavy. I hope it can help reveal the choices available to a great country that sometime looks in danger of loosing its mojo.”

Matthew Spencer
Executive Director, Green Alliance

“The challenges we face as a society today are complex and require systemic solutions that go beyond singular, linear and siloed approaches. An Economy That Works opens the door for a policy framework that can deliver systemic change and scale up the many initiatives that showcase the innovation, collaboration and joined-up approach required to address these.”

Sally Uren
Chief Executive, Forum for the Future


“I am a strong believer in the power of the market to catalyse the innovation and entrepreneurialism. I am also a strong believer in sustainable capitalism. However there are occasions where only governments can correct market failures, and sustainability is one such area and this is why it is incredibly important for society and the environment that Aldersgate Group’s An Economy that Works initiative is successful in promoting these changes. It is also incredibly important for our business. Left unchecked, issues arising from unsustainable development would affect the actuarial assumptions underpinning the insurance products that our industry provides, potentially rendering significant proportions of the economy uninsurable and shrinking our addressable market.”

Steve Waygood
Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors

“At BT, we believe that success in business is realised through the positive difference we make to society and the environment, and are proud that our technology is uniquely placed to help industry, government and communities work together to build long term, sustainable growth and a better future. An Economy That Works offers a framework and impetus for the important discussions needed to transition towards these goals.”

Niall Dunne
Chief Sustainability Officer, BT




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