18 September 2019 - Article
A recent story in the Financial Times has highlighted the emerging change in the way businesses address the reputational risk of their impact on society and the environment. Tesco made a high profile disclosure of the amount of waste in its supply chain recently, but did so voluntarily and used the opportunity to highlight the measures it is taking to address food waste. Are companies starting to heed the message about protecting their most important asset, in moving on to the front foot in their approach to these potentially reputation-damaging areas?
Businesses are becoming more canny about the risks posed by reputationally damaging exposés and are grasping the nettle to react positively. By crediting the public with the ability to understand that there are downsides to doing business, but being transparent about these downsides, they are protecting themselves from reputational damage and building trust with consumers.
This trend towards transparency may coincide with the same in the public sector since the introduction of Freedom of Information legislation in the UK. But it is likely in the business sector to be the result not of legislation, but of a growing awareness that reputations will be bolstered if companies grasp the tricky reputational nettles that present themselves. Withers' Reputation Management team will continue to monitor and update you on this interesting development.