About Us

Vision

Socially responsible businesses as drivers of societal change for global sustainable development.

Mission

Sustainable businesses enabling food security for all during a period of unprecedented challenge created by climate change and population growth.

Unique Selling Point

Science in Busness – a business approach to science and a sound evidence-based approach to use of science in business.

Our Values – why we exist

Business is not about companies, but about people – it is individuals who change the world, individuals who chose to do right or wrong, individuals who chose to be positive or negative, individuals who decide how, when and whether to make a difference.

Recent research has confirmed what many already acknowledge – that business in the UK suffers from a general lack of ethical and moral standing. There is too little sense of responsibility and of doing the “right thing for the right reason”. Dent Associates are a company whose reputation is built on doing things differently. That does not mean we will get everything right but the starting principles of the company are to be honest, straight, fair, independent and objective – providing a good professional service for a fair price in an open, transparent and positive way. The expertise and the services we provide are relevant to these times.

The issues we all have to address in order to develop and build sustainable businesses that will meet global needs for food security while combating the challenges of climate change and population growth are immense. The approach will require science at its core and a greater understanding of science-based evidence in creating an environment of change based on sound principles that can underpin commercial decisions. Sustainable businesses will be those that understand and adapt to the challenges of climate change, ensure the sustainability of their supply chains, effectively manage use of resources and reduce waste, act responsibly within the market place, as well as working for and with the communities and society of which they are a part. This will be most important where and when there are pressing needs to provide secure access to safe, affordable good quality food and water.

Making a difference is what we are about at Dent Associates – making a difference, positively, honestly and fairly – and adding value to your business in doing so. We are enthusiastic and positive about what we do, and in working with us you will find us friendly, readily approachable and professional. It may also be a lot of fun, because we only do business because we all enjoy what we do and want that sense of optimism and good humour to be a part of who and what we are as individuals and as a company.

Background

The business world of the UK was turned upside down in 2009 with the global financial crisis, but this was really only the tip of the iceberg – a symptom of a wider malaise of an economy that is fundamentally broken and which the business community is going to have to find new ways to put right.

If this was not enough, the uncomfortable reality is that we find ourselves faced with the imminent end of the era of:

  • cheap oil, gas and electricity
  • the prospect of steadily increasing commodity prices
  • the degradation of air, water and soil
  • conflicts over land use, resource use, water use
  • conflicts over forestry and fishing rights
  • the challenge of stabilising climate change

In these circumstances a return to business as usual is not an option. As the Sustainable Development Commission argue, prosperity for the few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilised society. We stand in urgent need of a renewed sense of shared prosperity – a deeper commitment to justice in a finite world.

Economic growth in the UK has been founded on the following processes

  • Efficiencies in production allow reduction of costs to provide more output for less input
  • Efficiencies ensure continued growth and returns to investors
  • Innovation and technology produce efficiencies which reduce costs and increase sales of products
  • Innovation and technologies that reduce labour costs create unemployment
  • Unemployment generates a financial and social cost as well as reducing tax revenues and reduces consumer spending
  • Reduced consumer spending impacts negatively on business growth and hence profits and returns to investors
  • Innovation creates new products and services
  • Innovation requires investment
  • Investment require returns to investors
  • New products and services create employment
  • Employment creates prosperity which increases spending which generates business growth.
  • New products and services generate novelty which encourages spending

These steps have also led to prosperity and status based on what we own, which combined with a celebrity culture, our materialistic society worships possessions and has fueled a passion for novelty and every growing types of consumer goods. Growth in the UK economy has been based on domestic consumption of consumer goods with built in obsolescence designed to promote the need for replacement goods.

On top of all this, for a social animal, we in the UK have badly neglected both community and society – a trend most famously exemplified by Margaret Thatcher who proclaimed in the 1980’s “there is no such thing as society”. Individualistic self-serving behaviour has been sanctioned as part of the need to promote growth in our economy and sadly now the UK is ranked lowest among all of the major seven English speaking nations of the world in terms of our ethicability – our ability “to do the right thing”, to live by a moral framework (Roger Steare and Pavlos Stamboulides 2008).

What has become clear is that the UK needs to revisit how it does business and create new ways of conducting business that fully takes account of sustainability needs, climate change and in doing so treats people fairly and works as part of society and not apart from society.

The world population is growing at an exponential rate and is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050 by which time the world will need 70-100% more food. Food production, security, safety and quality are of crucial importance in the coming years. Agricultural inputs have had a tremendously positive impact to date but many of them are unsustainable, relying on gas and oil availability, excessive use of water, have been detrimental to users, consumers and the environment. Developing new technologies that are acceptable to the consumer and yet ensure we can produce sufficient food, sustainably.

It is estimated that 30-40% of food in both the developed and developing world is lost to waste, though the causes are very different. Reducing waste while maintaining quality standards and safety are ways of making a significant contribution to increasing world food supplies.

The UK has a long and proud history of innovation and this ability needs to be harnessed now, but harnessed more carefully towards sustainability goals; specifically focussing on resource productivity, renewable energy, clean technology, green business and climate adaptation. And with these innovations, ensuring that UK companies have the opportunity to export and find international partners to commercially exploit these for the wider benefit, ensuring food security and food quality in a sustainable way, globally.

References:
Who’s doing the right thing? ethicability Moral DNA Report 2008 by Professor Roger Steare and Pavlos Stamboulides; Published by Roger Steare Consulting Ltd.
Prosperity without growth:economics for a finite planet, Tim Jackson Published by Earthscan 2009.