Our progress

How Blueprint came about:

In 2011 a group of senior business leaders approached the Archbishop of Westminster as they felt that the principles of Christian moral and social teaching, and in particular the tradition of Catholic Social Thought, could help bring about change in business. This led to discussions on the role of business in society and focused at the time around two concerns:

  • Is it legal rather than is it right – the focus in business was business competence. 
  • A “divided life“ – some people were feeling they were expected to leave the best of their personal values and morals formed outside the workplace at the door when at work.

So the aim of the initiative became: Uniting corporate purpose and personal values to serve society.

A conference was held in 2012 which explored how corporate culture has become skewed, or perceived to be skewed, in one direction: towards the pursuit of short-term financial gain at the cost of personal dignity and the long-term benefits to business and society. The conference explored what a new blueprint might be that will allow a culture to flourish that better serves us all.

Following the conference a wider group of people became involved in developing the thinking and approach of Blueprint. Various working groups were formed with representatives from a wide range of businesses, NGOs, investors, academics, different faiths and other groups who work with business. The Framework to Guide Decision Making had been drafted for the conference and this was refined to take into account input from the wider group. This wider group fed into the development of Five Principles of a Purpose Driven Business which were finalised in 2014.

Since 2014 our work has developed in three phases:

Phase 1

Changing the conversation about the purpose of business and what motivates people.

Phase 2

Working with senior leaders of large corporates and those who influence them to test our thinking and approach and learn how to help create change in practice.

Phase 3

Sharing what we are learning to enable others to use our thinking and approach.

Blueprint for Better Business challenges companies to be a force for good and contribute to a better society. Such a system is fundamentally about delivering a basic social contract comprised of relative equality of outcomes; equality of opportunity; and fairness across generations.

Blueprint’s Five Principles provide guidance for businesses and reflect the foundations needed for responsible business: honesty and fairness; good citizenship; responsible employment; guardians for future generations; and a purposeful business that delivers long-term sustainable performance.

Mark Carney Former Governor of the Bank of England