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Sustainability Is On The Agenda For The John Good Group

As a sixth-generation family business, the John Good Group of companies have been leading the way in shipping and travel since 1833. Founded on family values, they have always put people and communities at the heart of everything they do. This is a business that has been navigating the globe since 1833 and the course was set for the business the day that their founder John Good boarded his first ship at just 12 years old, taking his place in local and international maritime, logistics and travel history. As a business with their headquarters in Hull, they are rightly proud of their heritage and excited about the next chapters in the journey.

Surviving to the sixth generation is a great milestone, something that has come about due to continued investment, innovation and entrepreneurship that has made sure this business has moved with the times. Family values are at the heart of what they do and creating a sustainable family business is important too.

Making sure the business is passed on to the next generation in a better shape than it was inherited has always been important and as the business looks forward, the leadership team is embracing the need to continue to do business the right way. This is a business that takes things seriously and when it comes to the wider impact of doing business the right way and embracing the wider sustainably agenda and reducing their impact on the planet, they are leading the way.

As a family business, there are concerted efforts being introduced across all the businesses to ensure that the sustainability agenda is front and foremost with ongoing initiatives including:

  • Electric car offering for staff, with the company saving on National Insurance being donated to The Matthew Good Foundation

  • All locations mandated to switch to a renewable energy tariff on their next contract renewal

  • Solar panels to be installed on all company-owned office buildings

  • Working with landlords of rented spaces to assess the viability of introducing solar panels to these properties throughout 2023 and 2024

  • Upgrading all HGV fleet to the most modern vehicles available

  • Undertaking the first carbon measurement for the 2022 financial year with third party assurance on the method

  • Introduction of a carbon reduction plan with multiple projects in 2023 seeking to reduce carbon production including the encouragement of commuting with an enhanced car share benefit and car allowances with bias and benefit to encourage the uptake of more electric vehicles

  • Targeted procurement policy that puts local businesses first and then environmental offering, before allowing other options

  • Inclusion of local purchasing measures in the annual company financial statements

  • Strategic focus for all the businesses in the group and also The Matthew Good Foundation on environmental and community initiatives

As Adam Walsh, Group CEO of The John Good Group adds, “Becoming sustainable, at an individual, business and national level, is without doubt the greatest challenge of our generation. At the business level, I believe that the multi-generational family business model holds the potential solution to many of the sustainability problems we face. At our core, multi-generational family businesses, have a drive to pass the business onto the next generation in a better position than the one received (or built). This creates behaviour where our purpose is to thrive, being agile enough to move quickly when needed, but with a longer-term investment mentality. All under pinned by a genuine focus on helping people and community.”

“Is this a model which we can honestly say is shared in other business types, or even at a national level? I have my doubts. But all is not lost, as family businesses can and should take a leading role in tackling our sustainability challenges and I believe we as a cohort, can be a real catalyst for change. It's in our DNA to think and focus in this way. Now we need to be braver. Louder. More focused on the positive impact we can make. We also need to move quickly, because time is of the essence.”

“The challenge is clear. Now is the time to illustrate just how valuable family businesses can be as a force for good and as a business, we are fully committed to playing our part and creating a fully sustainable business for generations to come."


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