Simon loves doing things for the first time; setting strategies, devising processes or researching new ideas. He has worked with clients in all sectors, and his recent projects include pharmaceutical supply chain ethics, writing about nuclear sustainability, researching the impact of IT on sustainability, and setting CR strategy for a large retailer. Having started with a DPhil in physics, Simon’s career ranges between technical sustainability roles and corporate strategy within a PLC, giving him the ability to speak both languages. He is closely involved in Carnstone’s support to the PSCI and also the Responsible Media Forum. He is an experienced facilitator and speaker and writes for a number of magazines and journals.
- Food & Beverage
- Construction & Materials
- NGOs and Not-For-Profits
- Environmental Management
- Community Investment
- Charitable Partnerships & Volunteering
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Responsible Supply Chains
- Reporting & Communication
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Responsible Investment
- Corporate Governance
- Resource Efficiency
- Product Stewardship
- Performance Management
- Mentoring & Training
With a foreword by Dr Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors, this report takes the temperature of the environmental, social and governance issues facing the media sector.
Our analysis prioritises issues - from fake news to environmental management - into three categories: material, strategic and operational, based on the financial risk posed by each issue. It replaces and builds on previous materiality assessments conducted in 2004, 2009 and 2013.
With a plethora of organisations now evaluating media companies for a living, the aim of the report is to support a conversation between the sector and its stakeholders – particularly those evaluating companies on behalf of investors – leading to more constructive discussions and ultimately better long-term planning.
The new Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations produced a flood of data in April 2018. Carnstone has sifted through it to provide like-for-like comparisons for the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250. Which companies have the highest gaps in their sector and which the lowest? Who has the most equal pay in the FTSE 100? Which sectors are most equal and which least? This Review sets the data out simply and comparably to form an essential reference document for this first year’s disclosures.
Obviously, all companies have a desire to stay alive and be profitable. But above and beyond mere survival, increasingly we expect businesses to play a positive role in society or at least reduce their negative social and environmental impacts as much as possible.
How do such concerns apply to the media sector? What are the key impacts of media companies? How will society hold them to account in the future?
In our newest report, The Future of Responsible Media, we articulate four interrelated challenges, the management of which, we believe, will set ‘good’ companies apart from the ‘bad’ over the next 10 years. We summarise these four challenges as follows:
- The future of privacy – getting serious about understanding users’ appetite for
personalised content vs privacy;
- Coming to grips with being movers – owning up to the fact that media content doesn’t just mirror society, it moves it;
- Becoming organisations without walls – finding ways of managing impacts in an increasingly splintered media landscape; and
- Managing the workplace of the future – rethinking existing notions of ‘purpose’, ‘progression’ and ‘hierarchy’ as the competition for critical talent heats up.
Further to this, we identify eight social and technological forces that are likely to transform society generally and the world of media more specifically.
The report is based on rigorous desk-research, the collective insights of the 25 companies participating in the Responsible Media Forum as well as input from some of the brightest sparks in business, politics and academia.
Simon's Pro Bono Work…
Simon is currently working pro bono with Yeldall Manor (a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre) to help them access innovative funding models. He is also a Trustee of the Royal County of Berkshire Schools Trust. In the past he worked with Sky and WWF, supporting their Rainforest Rescue project, researching and developing the market for forest products
Simon in our news section…
Blind beauty and gut feelings: what can the arts tell us about sustainability?
The rate of technological change today is so fast that it’s hard to keep up with. So much has changed over the last 30 years; what on earth do the next 30, 50 or 100 years have in store for us?
Take driverless cars. They’ve been on the horizon for years, and yet only 6% of state transportation plans in the USA have taken the technology into account (Ref: ‘City of the Future’ report, Center for City Solutions & Applied Research, 2015). So, more roads and parking lots are built despite their impending obsolescence.
The Age of the Anthropocene is often chalked up to advantages of intellect and logic, but non-rational thought guides so much of human behaviour that ignoring the importance of how things feel is folly. And not least in the world of sustainability, where the success of so many well-intentioned projects boils down to human behaviour.
At Carnstone, we place evidence at the very heart of our work. But finding smart, future-proof solutions to sustainability problems sometimes requires creative thinking. So, we were delighted to partner with Tata Consultancy Services’ Spark Salon series to explore what the arts have to offer sustainability and technology alike.
Sustainability leaders today must offer a prophetic set of skills: as guides to the organisation, they identify risks and opportunities before others do, and set strategy fit for a rapidly changing world. Could an artistic mindset – imaginative, non-linear and comfortable with uncertainty – complement a scientific, evidence-based approach and help those working in sustainability? Can the arts open up cognitive horizons to myriad future paths and help us better prepare?
To further explore the question, we commissioned five talented artists to create artworks depicting our future world. The artists were: Becci Louise (poet); Duncan Cameron (sculptor); Michiko Nitta and Michael Burton (BurtonNitta, interdisciplinary art and design studio); Matt Parker and James Dooley (collaborating in sound and video art); and, Marie von Heyl and Philipp Eberle (art and jewellery design collaboration).
Using technological changes on the horizon, we provided the artists with provocations, or muses, to stimulate their thinking. Over six months, they responded to our brief in diverse ways: some hopeful, dystopian and even absurd, whilst others were disturbingly real.
On 24 January 2017, we opened the question up to wider debate. Over 80 people from across the art, technology and sustainability worlds joined us for an exhibition and panel session with the artists themselves. It was clear they didn’t all agree about the role of the artist: some thought their role was to reflect the world around them, without judgement, whilst others thought that artists could look ahead to important ethical boundaries, warning of trouble ahead.
Whatever the answer, it’s clear that artists nurture their ability to imagine realities beyond the visible, predictable and concrete. Perhaps that’s something the sustainability profession would benefit from, too.
'Green Screen' at the Shard
Simon Hodgson spoke at the ‘Innovation that Saves Energy and Promotes Sustainability’ event in January 2016 at the Shard. The event, organised by the Warwick Technology and Global Energy Professional Networks including Dragos Petre, attracted 70 people interested in IT companies’ overall contribution to environmental sustainability.
Simon presented a summary of the ‘Green Screen’ report, discussing the direct, indirect and societal effects of the IT sector, as well as recommendations for how it can maximise sustainability benefits. He was joined on the panel by James Johnston, Co-founder and CEO of Open Utility, and Daniel Fogg, Chief Operations Officer at BuffaloGrid, who shared their experiences working in start-ups operating at the intersection of the IT, energy and utilities sectors. The panel provided excellent real world case studies for how technology brings environmental and social benefits, but also the challenges encountered. The panel was chaired by David Elmes, Professor of Practice at Warwick Business School.
Carnstone in Asia
We are excited to be opening our first overseas business; Carnstone Asia will begin trading in December 2014 from its new offices in Shanghai. The company will initially have three staff under the leadership of Tristan Edmonsdon. Tristan is a Mandarin speaker who has lived and worked in China on several occasions.
Carnstone Asia will work with international companies with operations and supply chains in China, as they navigate the very distinctive sustainability risks and opportunities in this amazing region. Several of our current clients have already asked for support, and the team will be working on projects from the very first day. One of the first will be Working Well, a collaboration of major multinationals to promote improved labour standards among key suppliers. Other work involves understanding the attitudes of Chinese consumers to social and environmental brands.
“We have consulted carefully about this venture” says Simon Hodgson, Carnstone’s Managing Partner “and the response from our existing clients is very positive. We feel the time is now right for us to make the move. Shanghai is a very vibrant place, and many of our customers have offices and operations there. We’re really looking forward to the new ideas and experiences it will bring as we look at familiar sustainability issues from the other end of the telescope.”
To find out more about Carnstone Asia , please contact Tristan Edmondson.