Last week I was been chairing our CSR reporting conference in Brussels
One of the speakers, Ramon Arratia, European sustainability director for Interface, the B2B carpet company, said something very interesting.
European executives, he suggested, can be just too cautious on ethical business targets.
As a Spanish executive who worked five years at Vodafone and now works for a US firm, he speaks with some knowledge.
When setting sustainability targets, says Ramon, Europeans might suggest a 40% cuts target, and perhaps even cut that down to 20% in caution.
But American colleagues, (such as the founder of Interface, Ray Anderson) are sometimes much more ambitious, and pitch for 100% cuts in, for example, carbon.
Being so ambitious, they might not get there, but they might get 80% of the way, suggests Ramon, whilst the cautious Europeans could still be stuck on their 20-40%.
No-one likes generalisations, but American business is known for its consistent ambition.
Is it time to apply more ‘big picture positive thinking’ to your firms ethics targets?