February 19, 2023 Developing a purpose-led business

How we are weaving ESG into the fabric of our culture

Developing a purpose-led business

On our journey to becoming a purpose-led business, we began integrating ESG into our culture, strategy, and operations; we partnered with Elixirr's Sustainability expert, Emiko Caerlewy-Smith; and are now able to differentiate ourselves in the financial services space as a purpose-driven business. 

Founded in 2009, Elixirr is an award-winning global consulting firm working with clients across a diverse range of industries and geographies. With roots in strategy consulting, the firm’s capabilities today range from business model innovation to digital transformation. Elixirr tackle the toughest boardroom challenges, seeking the best route, not the easy one, to pioneer change on a global scale. 

Elixirr’s 2020 listing with AIM on the London Stock Exchange helped to drive growth across geographies, strengthening their position in global markets. To date, Elixirr has acquired four boutique firms: Den Creative, Coast Digital, Retearn and iOLAP. This combined expertise helps the firm deliver game-changing solutions to clients, the bold business leaders. 

The Challenge

ESG is not simply a “nice to have”, but a fundamental part of futureproofed business models. Only by incorporating ESG values into a company from the top-down will businesses make genuine progress on their sustainability journeys. 

We wanted to improve our environmental and social impact, in turn helping clients progress their own sustainability journeys. Drawing from our Elixirr's extensive knowledge and experience in the ESG space, the team helped us create a more meaningful, purpose-led business with sustainability at its core. 

The Approach

Elixirr worked alongside our Sustainability team to kickstart our journey. Initially running a series of discovery workshops with our senior leadership and colleagues to understand our sustainability views, preferences and materiality. These sessions highlighted our team’s commitment to “building a sustainable business and supporting clients on their own sustainability journeys,” says James Tracey. Using these insights, Elixirr created a strategic recommendations report for our senior leadership to act on in order for our business to be truly purpose-led. It was also important to make sure Oak was working towards the agenda of the UN Global Compact, so a related internal sustainability governance, action plans and tracking methods was set up. This meant we can now hold ourselves publicly accountable to meet our ESG targets. 

In addition, they helped us to articulate our carbon footprinting objectives, suggesting a partnership with a specialist footprinting firm or technology provider to undertake a full analysis of our global carbon emissions and make recommendations for setting and achieving net zero targets, and track and report their progress against these. 

Elixirr also helped us create assets to kickstart a growing catalogue of technical sustainability copy and content for marketing purposes, including thought leadership, as digital support for Oak’s sustainability-led rebrand. And finally, Elixirr translated their work into a brief for Oak’s creative agency to execute on the rebrand. 

The Impact

Throughout the process, Elixirr worked collaboratively with our senior and wider colleague teams to ensure our people were fully aligned with the vision of creating a more sustainable organisation. This included training the entire global team on sustainability concepts and sustainable finance opportunities to create sustainability innovation capabilities. Ultimately, this means our team is equipped with the foundational knowledge and passion to continue to build a sustainable business as part of BAU. 

As a result of this work, we have rebranded as a sustainable organisation and our new positioning is attracting new clients and talent, while having a positive impact on existing clients in progressing their own sustainability journeys, and on people and the planet as a whole. Find out more about our sustainability journey here. 

James Tracey, Head of Sustainability said, “Oak’s aspiration to become a leading purpose-led business with sustainability at the forefront has given us the chance to collaborate with a community of change-makers. We are committed to training our people so we are able to lead by example in the financial services sector under the three sustainability pillars; environmental, social and governance.” 


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