How Sustainable Practices & Innovation Drive Long Term Success in partnership with Positive Luxury


Sustainable Strategies Should Lead to Improved Financial Viability

On Tuesday the 9th of March we had the pleasure of hosting ‘How Sustainable Practices & Innovation Drive Long Term Success in partnership with Positive Luxury’ it was a healthy discussion full of innovative ideas and thought leaders discussing why businesses with sustainability at their core attract more investment, outperform their unsustainable competitors, and are better prepared for the future.

If you missed the event live stream, don’t worry just click on the link below to watch:

Zoom Recording

In case you missed it, here are some key takeaways.

What steps do you need to take to achieve sustainability?

Franziska Gsell, Head of IWC Schaffhausen’s Marketing & Communication shared;

“IWC is building watches to last for generations, it’s only right that we have a long term commitment in what we do”

She credits the acceleration of sustainability to the committee.

“The committee we have at IWC is representative of all the departments, 50% of the people who are leading the committee are DXO members, that’s important to push us to do good, to do even better.”

Every second year IWC are also producing and showing a sustainable report, which was initially run through GRI Initiative Standards to really give full transparency. Franziska believes that showing the goals your company is setting is so important to fulfilling your sustainability standards.

“Luxury doesn’t mean excess, and that what I said at the beginning, we have been producing beautiful timepieces for more than 153 years now so they are around to last forever. Then we looked into our packaging and this is where we had the conversation. Sometimes it’s little things you do, that was a major step for us.”

Show your methods openly, have those important conversations and then showcase in reports how you are implementing action.

What makes sustainable brands/companies appealing to investors and why?

Laila Charlton-Meyrick, Executive Director at Coutts Family Office shared;

“It’s important to distinguish between the types of investor groups that are out there, broadly there are just two. Private Asset Owners and Institutional Asset Owners.”

She adds that although these specific groups have their own nuances, in terms of how they think about allocating their capital, in the last five to 10 years, there have been some fundamental changes that have made sustainable businesses more attractive as an investment opportunity.

“One of the key drivers of investors is actually trying to support those companies that are solving some of these biggest challenges that we are facing today

Laila’s advice for those who are just starting out as a business or if you’re an established brand is to know that there are going to be parts of your operations and value chain that you may not be able to control.

What an investor is looking to do is actually maximise that net positive impact on these big social and environmental issues.

“We need to put money with businesses that are trying to solve some of these big problems. I think there’s strong arguments and increasing evidence that actually sustainable businesses, produce better returns”

What does radical innovation look like?

Mark Haviland, EVP Brand & Sustainability, Rakuten EMEA.

“I’m absolutely convinced that the linear economic model will be replaced by the circular model.”

One of Mark’s biggest focuses for this year is to embed circularity into his business with two key directives – as an operational model and as a model to advocate for all the merchants they work with.

Here’s his advice for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs;

“If you’re working out a sustainable journey building a sustainable brand in its early stages, the good news that you’re in the foothills of what will become an enormous opportunity because everybody is moving in this direction.”

Though Marks recognises that small businesses have tiny resources and big tech companies, big brands and big aggregating houses to need to help everybody get onto the circularity journey, provide frameworks, models, research and open source everybody to get hold of the technological innovation that is going on at the moment.

“I want Rakuten to be positioned so it can help companies on that journey. We want the merchants on our platform, and the clients that use our technology, to understand what circularity means.”

Home Grown is here to have open and honest conversations about how your business can start producing better returns from investing in sustainable, long term options.

If you would like to join the conversation and keep up to date with what is going on you can virtually follow us here on LinkedIn as we look forward to our reopening on the 17th May.

If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with any of the team –

Meet the Speakers:


Hosted by Diana Verde Nieto, Co-founder of Positive Luxury – who established The Butterfly Mark, an industry-leading certification that highlights luxury businesses with a positive impact on nature and society.

Diana is a globally recognised figure in the sustainability field, Diana will be joined by quite the line up of speakers including:

Laila Charlton-Meyrick has over 20 years of experience in financial services at Credit Suisse and UBS advising family offices and high net worth individuals on their investment strategies including, latterly, their impact investment philosophy at Tribe Impact Capital. A passionate believer in having a positive impact on our world through investment, she has helped a wide range of clients define and develop strategies and reporting metrics that help achieve their sustainability and impact goals.

Mark Haviland  – as EVP Brand and Sustainability at Rakuten EMEA, Mark’s focus is to ensure the brand respects the social and environmental priorities the world faces today and tomorrow, while achieving its financial ambitions. With an emphasis on de-carbonisation, social inclusion and conscious consumption, Mark is supporting both regional and global efforts to embed purpose into operations. Now 9 years with Rakuten, Mark previously held roles at The Walt Disney Company, then CNN International. Having worked in Tokyo and Paris, he is now based in London with his family.

Franziska Gsell – as Chief Marketing Officer and member of the Board of Directors, Franziska has been Head of IWC Schaffhausen’s Marketing & Communication department since 2015. In this role, she is responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s global strategy in over 20 markets. She is also chair of IWC’s Sustainability Committee, and was previously CEO of the luxury hosiery brand, Fogal. Franziska has gained a great deal of experience in the commercial sector through various sales and marketing roles, including at the Feldschlösschen (Carlsberg) brewery in Switzerland and as Marketing Director and member of the Board of Directors for luxury chocolate brand Lindt & Sprüngli.


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