SEI Contact:

Chris West

Telephone: +44 1904 324559

Time-frame: 2012–2013

NETPositive - a new approach to Corporate Social Responsibility


A NETpositive state can be achieved when the company’s total positive and negative economic, social and environmental impacts are understood and accounted for and it can be demonstrated to stakeholders that the company makes an overall positive contribution to society and the natural environment.

There is an increasingly compelling body of evidence that indicates significant changes in the world landscape in the coming years. Wide-ranging research, such as the 2012 WWF Living Planet Report highlights that shifts in the availability and access to natural resources, alongside fundamental changes in global demographics, present a changing set of threats and opportunities. In responding to these and many social, environmental and economic challenges, many feel there is clearly a requirement for new skills, thinking and knowledge within the business sector.  It can be argued that these challenges will radically alter the operating environment for business and what is required are new strategies, models and approaches to responding to these global challenges.

An initial steering group has been established to transform the NETpositive concept detailed above into a framework of advice, tools, methods and actions to promote real-world organisational change and positive action. Our aim is to ensure that all companies, large or small, are provided with the knowledge to understand both positive and negative impacts of their entire business operations, and highlight implementation pathways for best-practice actions that can be taken to reduce detrimental impacts and enhance positive ones.

The main element of this work, aimed to provide a key contribution to the NETpositive framework, is to understand how the NETpositive initiative can integrate with existing approaches for corporate social responsibility and especially help small businesses and other businesses with limited resources (such as those in developing nations), enhance their sustainability.

A website for the project has been established at