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Our first corporate responsibility and sustainable development report

Richard Branson's thoughts on the Virgin Group's first ever Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development Report...

Someone wiser than I once said that ‘knowledge is power’ – and so in the 21st Century we have no excuse to sit back and let our planet and its people continue to suffer. As “global citizens” of the world we are facing serious environmental and social challenges; climate change, a lack of key resources, widespread poverty, conflicts and enormous population growth are all threatening to destabilise our fragile status quo. Scientists have been telling us for years that we cannot continue to live the way we do and at last some of us have started to listen, started to act and started to turn back the tide, little by little – at last having grasped that in our small global village what affects our neighbours, affects us all.

It would be easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of these global issues, but I am an optimist at heart and I believe in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation. The human race has demonstrated a tremendous capacity to change and adapt in the past and I have faith we can do it again. At Virgin we’re working together to make a difference, by implementing small changes in the way we work, by continuously investing in green technologies and by exploring new possibilities in science and beyond. I believe that in the future we will be able to enjoy healthy and fulfilling lifestyles, whilst minimising the negative impact we have on the world. What seems impossible today could be possible tomorrow.

The world has changed a great deal in the 40 years since the Virgin Group started, but I’m proud to be able to say that we’ve moved with the times and we’re still listening. We’ve set up a foundation, Virgin Unite, to help us listen, bring people together and tackle issues with entrepreneurial approaches. We’re also listening to the exceptional men and women who form The Elders, to the scientists, partners and entrepreneurs who make up the Carbon War Room - all these people are helping to educate us as to what is needed both globally and at a grass roots level to help make a difference to lives on a daily basis.

Head over here to read the Virgin Group's Corporate Responsibility and Sustainable Development Report 2010.

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