Launch of the Doing Well by Doing Good course in partnership with Berenbrug.

Connecting with business to capture and share knowledge presents many opportunities for SHAPE commercialisation. Fostering this exchange is a key interest to Aspect, driven forward largely through collaborative activity among Aspect members, particularly the work of the Aspect Business Engagement Community of Practice.  As part of Aspect’s ongoing provision of training and learning initiatives for Aspect members, today we are delighted to announce having teamed up with Berenbrug to release a new online course for Aspect members.  Doing Well by Doing Good delves into the intricacies of incorporating sustainability actions seamlessly into the fabric of business strategy and is available online via the Aspect Members Platform.

We sat down with Nigel Bagley, the former Director of the Sustainable Business Academy at Unilever and the visionary founder of Berenbrug, to explore the transformative impact of courses like this on the ever-evolving ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) landscape.

Nigel, sustainability is a multifaceted term, and today, we’re focusing on its implications for social and environmental concerns. Are more companies incorporating these considerations into their business operations?

Nigel: Indeed, Sean, the landscape is diverse. Some companies embrace sustainability driven by a genuine belief in its intrinsic value, while others respond to external pressures like legislation, customer demands, or peer influence. Interestingly, this pressure to act means that a significant and growing number now perceive sustainability as a cost of doing business, as indicated by Capgemini’s recent report, where 53% of executives view sustainability initiatives as a financial burden. However, there is also, in parallel, a growing awareness among companies, spanning from start-ups to global giants, that well-executed environmental and social programmes can not only enhance operational efficiency but also drive immediate business growth. At Berenbrug, we aim to foster this mindset shift – from seeing sustainability as a cost to leveraging it as a catalyst for growth.

Berenbrug is a new entrant, emerging from your work at Unilever. What sets the Doing Well by Doing Good course apart?

Nigel: Sean, when I assessed the available training support in this space, I identified a significant gap. While numerous programmes focus on specific sustainability actions, such as reducing plastic use or lowering carbon footprints, there was a void in directly connecting these positive actions to the growth of brands and businesses. The essence is that when companies align their positive impact with business success, both aspects flourish and endure.

It’s commendable that you’re making this course available to Aspect members. What benefits do you envision participants gaining from the programme?

Nigel: The Doing Well by Doing Good course caters to a diverse audience, including general managers, entrepreneurs, and marketers across various sectors. Using real-world examples and practical models, our aim is to empower learners with the knowledge to comprehend and articulate the role of business in sustainability. We guide them in identifying the right opportunity areas for their brands or companies, connecting sustainability actions to business strategy, and inspiring them to authentically engage their customers and consumers in their narrative.

In essence, the course is a comprehensive journey towards aligning sustainability with business growth, encouraging participants to view it not just as a responsibility but as a strategic lever for success.

Nigel, how do you see the role of collaboration in advancing sustainability initiatives within businesses?

Nigel: Collaboration is paramount in advancing sustainability initiatives. It’s not just about businesses implementing isolated sustainability measures; it’s about creating a collective impact. By collaborating, businesses can pool resources, share best practices, and collectively work towards achieving broader sustainability goals. Moreover, collaboration allows for the exchange of ideas and innovations, fostering a culture of continuous improvement. At Berenbrug, we believe in the power of collaboration, and it’s ingrained in the ethos of the Doing Well by Doing Good course. We encourage participants to not only learn individually but to actively engage in collaborative efforts no matter what stage their business is at, thereby amplifying the positive impact of sustainability initiatives.

In the broader context of the ESG landscape, how do you perceive the influence of courses like Doing Well by Doing Good?

Nigel: Courses like Doing Well by Doing Good play a pivotal role in shaping the ESG landscape. They contribute by not only educating on the intricacies of sustainability but also by instilling a mindset shift. Businesses are increasingly recognising the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and governance factors with their overall success. By providing practical knowledge and tools, we hope that these courses will empower businesses to navigate some of the complexities and generate as much positive impact as possible.

Nigel, as we wrap up, what would be your message to ventures considering integrating sustainability into their core strategies?

Nigel: My message would be this: Embrace sustainability not as a mere obligation but as a powerful driver of growth. Understand that sustainability is not just about mitigating risks or adhering to regulations; it’s about seizing opportunities for innovation, efficiency, and business expansion. By aligning positive actions with strategic objectives, businesses can not only contribute to a better world but also thrive economically. The Doing Well by Doing Good course is a testament to this belief, providing actionable insights for businesses to embark on a transformative journey towards sustainable success.

The Doing Well By Doing Good course is available to Aspect members via the Aspect Members’ Platform

To find out more about Berenbrug’s work, visit

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reSHAPE 2023

Innovation is the lifeblood of progress, and on the 7th of September 2023, the second edition of reSHAPE brought together visionaries, innovators, and thought leaders to celebrate and explore the dynamic world of SHAPE ventures.


On the 11th of September we’ll be holding the final live activity as part of Aspect Festival23 with the Dutch Knowledge Transfer Office Social Sciences & Humanities Working Group, hosted by Aspect member Leiden University.

Methods for Change: Creative, Participatory and Design Methods Showcase

Join the M4C team online from 11.30 – 12.30 Wednesday 13th September 2023 for the Aspect Methods for Change Showcase event!

reSHAPE 2023

reSHAPE is back and it’s bigger than ever!
reSHAPE – the world’s only showcase event for impact at scale SHAPE ventures is back at the the RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) on the 7th of September 2023. 

Expect a day packed full of discussion around the SHAPE commercialisation landscape, inspirational and influential speakers, and of course plenty of fantastic SHAPE ventures from universities across the UK.

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