We have always succeeded in business by offering consumers another way, a better way and being willing to fight their corner. The world has changed a great deal in the 40 years that Virgin has been in business but we have moved with the times and we have always listened to what people want.
One thing has remained true; our belief in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to help us rise to the new challenges that we all face.
Our lifestyle is the way that we choose to live our lives - the things we buy, the things we believe – it is who we are. As global citizens we want to provide people with products and services that will help them to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. Our lifestyle not only impacts others but also the planet. Living a more ‘sustainable lifestyle’ is about making more responsible choices (Is this my lowest carbon option? Will this be fair to people? Am I using the planet’s resources responsibly?). So far, a sustainable lifestyle has been associated with sacrifice or compromise, giving up the choice and freedom we currently enjoy. Virgin’s vision is the opposite of this. We believe that living sustainably doesn’t have to mean cutting back or frugality, and responsibility shouldn’t be dull or difficult.
Our vision is to contribute to creating happy and fulfilling lives which are also sustainable – surely a vision worth aspiring to? With businesses spanning many sectors and touching many aspects of our customers’ lifestyles we feel that Virgin is in a perfect position to contribute to this vision. After all, the Virgin brand has always been about having fun in a unique Virgin way.
We believe that we have a part to play in making this a reality and so our vision for sustainability within the Virgin Group is: “to make a credible contribution towards sustainable lifestyles whilst meeting or exceeding the expectations of our staff, customers and other stakeholders”.
The Virgin brand values have remained unchanged for 40 years. They aren’t just an image but a reflection of our very essence and the way we do business. Virgin has always stood for value for money, quality, innovation, fun and a sense of competitive challenge. But now our brand values have gone three dimensional; we no longer have a list of brand values but a brand cube to which we have added the Wellbeing & Happiness of People and Sustainability of the Planet. In these pages we describe that fundamental evolution of our brand and what we at Virgin stand for.
We want our Virgin companies to provide responsibly produced, sustainable, low carbon services and products that are desirable, easy to use and good value above all else so that our customers can enjoy their lifestyles safe in the knowledge that Virgin is acting responsibly on their behalf. We’ve set out our manifesto of how we plan to make this happen:
Get low carbon: Strive to emit minimal carbon and other greenhouse gases.
1 planet not 2: Learn to use the planet’s finite resources responsibly.
We are all equal: Work towards poverty alleviation and the fair treatment of all individuals.
Wellness: Offer products and services that enhance emotional and physical wellbeing.
Inspire the change: Show that change isn’t dull or involving sacrifice - think of what we gain not what we give up. We have to create desire.
Have a voice: We can’t solve everything but we can use our voice for good, by contributing to the debate and helping to take things forward.
In everything we do we are using this manifesto to help ensure that in the future our customers can continue to enjoy their lifestyles; to travel, to communicate and to relax, safe in the knowledge that Virgin is acting responsibly on their behalf.
We also face not inconsiderable challenges to contributing to sustainable lifestyles.
Although Virgin is big, we can achieve relatively little in the grand scheme of things just by reducing our own impacts, so we have a role to play in encouraging and educating those that we work with. In some sectors we might have a small market share and influence. In those markets we focus on having a big voice and driving the market forward on issues of sustainability, such as Virgin Atlantic within aviation.
Some companies have relatively small environmental footprints but have more significant social impacts that need to be addressed. For example, Virgin Games’ responsibility is helping to prevent gambling addiction.
We've also established a non-profit foundation, Virgin Unite, that works with our businesses, Richard and global partners to drive change and to encourage entrepreneurial approaches to some of the tough challenges the world is facing today.
To find out more about what our companies are doing:
We're all going on a summer holiday
Getting from A to B
Staying in touch
Watching the pennies
My body is a temple
Out of this world
Relax and have fun