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Year Round Up: Learnings from Business Purpose

Year Round Up: Learnings from Business Purpose

Written by Eleonora Vanello

In the run-up to Christmas, we are sharing some of the learnings from the over 30 Productivity Club events and national conference that took place in 2022. 


A business’s purpose is its reason for existing. It drives its strategy, activities and sales.

The recent report, Now is time for purpose launched by the Business Purpose Commission presents clear evidence that now is the time, despite the challenges around the costs of doing business, for businesses to embrace a purpose to “find profitable solutions to the problems of people and the planet”.

Making the business case for purpose, the report highlights international evidence of benefits including:

  • Customers want to buy from them – two thirds of people will pay more for socially driven products
  • People want to work for businesses with a purpose – around two thirds of millennials take a company’s social and environmental commitments into account when deciding where to work
  • Businesses are more resilient – 73% of them say a well-defined purpose helped navigate disruption
  • Businesses are more innovative – 53% of businesses prioritising purpose said they were successful with innovation and transformation efforts, versus only 19% not prioritising it

In our September Clubs we invited case studies from businesses that are or about to become B-Corp certified. B-Corps are organisations that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability to balance profit and purpose.



Macphie is a leading family-run food business based in Glenbervie in the North East of Scotland. Corporate Social Responsibility has always been central to the business as they have invested in the environment, their people and local community. In 2015, Macphie received the B-Corp certification, and this provided them with a clear structure to tailor strategies and targets that work best for their people, communities and environment.

Their people strategy is based on values:

  • Simply Inspire: engagement and culture; diversity and inclusion; attraction and recruitment;
  • Simply Invest: training and development; progression and opportunities; retaining talent
  • Simply Improve: wellbeing and wellness; reward and recognition; compliance

Their environment strategy is based on preserving the land as they are match their immediate demands of the business with the needs of the future:

  • They were the first company in the UK to use an industrial biomass plant to generate power to produce food.
  • In 2018, Glenbervie estate was recognised by Wildlife Estates Scotland for its work with wildlife, habitat and conservation management.
  • The estate plants forestry and hedges to encourage diverse habitats for wildlife.
  • 50% of the energy used across both their manufacturing sites comes from onsite renewable energy.
  • Their two wind turbines power production and plug 70% of the energy back into the national grid.
  • In 2018 they installed two electric car charging points, accessible to our workforce and the general public. In a rural location with limited pubic transport access, this equipment encourages the use of more environmentally friendly transport methods.
  • The majority of their liquid waste from manufacturing processes is treated and returned to the environment at the same quality, monitored by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • Over 50% of solid waste is recycled, reused or composted by Glenbervie Home Farm.

Other than improving staff retention and attraction, the B-Corp certification made Macphie more attractive to business too as it led to become the main suppliers for cookie dough to the multi-national ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s (a B-Corp too).


For more information about Productivity Club Scotland’s upcoming events, please visit https://www.scdi.org.uk/events/

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