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HSBC Insights Webinar Series - Sustainability and ESG

An HSBC Global virtual event where three diverse companies, one of which was 55/Redefined, talked about business drive, their mission and purpose

What do an underwear firm, an over-50s advocacy group and a food packaging manufacturer have in common?

Lyndsey Simpson was a guest of host Patricia Gomes, Regional Head, Commercial Banking, HSBC MENAT On this webinar three companies talked about how they are putting the purpose of sustainability at the core of their business, and seeing the benefits every day, discussing the different aspects of their sustainability story, which led to creating successful firms each with a strong purpose.

Lyndsey appears at the following points in this video: 07.39-09.22 / 12.35-21.03 / 35.01-39.28 / 43.53 - 44.20

Key Takeaways

  • Sustainability has become a business imperative, and those who don’t respond may be left behind.
  • Customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders need to be considered when companies decide on sustainability strategy.
  • As a small company starting up, you have an opportunity to make sustainability a part of your purpose and find a route to profit that does no harm.

    55/Redefined Text Summary

    Embracing employees

    For Lyndsey Simpson, Founder and CEO of 55 Redefined, the purpose is right at the heart of this disruptive firm, which aims to tackle agism in the UK, particularly at work. The group includes a membership platform, Life/Redefined, to connect over-50s to inspiring life stories and expert opinions, an over-50s job board, Jobs/Redefined, and an employer-focused platform Work/Redefined, which offers services such as Age Inclusive Accreditation and Age Unconscious Bias training.

    In the US and the UK, around 37% of employers will not consider hiring an over-50s candidate, often because they think they might take a lot of sick days, when in fact they’re 200% less likely to be off sick than an employee in their 20s. A child born today will live, on average, to about 103 years old. That life expectancy, combined with record low birth rates in many regions in the world, is creating a shrinking working-age population.

    “That’s a huge social challenge. It creates leadership challenges of how to motivate and engage teams of people that are 40 years apart in age. It creates challenges around the physical nature of work, and the flexibility that we encourage in work,” says Simpson.

    “It's not just your workforce that's ageing, it's your customer base. So, some companies are trying to mirror workforces, so that consumers interact with the relevant age group for what their conversation is, rather than this mismatch across the generations. I can't think of any company that we've interacted with in the last 12 months that doesn't have recruitment challenges. And that's going to get increasingly year-on-year harder when that talent pool is shrinking by 25%”.

    “But the companies that are doing good work in this space, are finding that it's having a positive impact on their existing workforce. So, if they proactively attract over 50s or 60s into new roles in their company, they see a reduction in attrition of their existing workforce, because people are no longer feeling they're going to be past it or pushed out the door when they reach a certain age. We're also seeing intergenerational diversity, in the same way as diversity in every other characteristic, makes for better business decisions.”

This text summary has been taken from HSBC Insights page here.

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