Co-operative sustainability expert Paul Monaghan has been recognised as the most influential leader in his field.
Conducted by Global CEO, the public poll saw the former Co-operative Group head of social goals top a poll of 100 corporate social responsibility leaders.
Mr Monaghan runs his own CSR-support venture, Up The Ethics, and is also sustainability adviser for Co-operative Energy and director of the Fair Tax Mark.
He said: “It’s a real honour to top this leadership poll, especially when you see some of the fantastic people from across the world I was up against.
“I’ve spent the last two decades in and around the co-operative movement supporting ethical innovation and it’s always irked that we receive so little collective recognition for the numerous initiatives we have led. Previously, the Co-operative Group led on Fairtrade, ethical banking, combating climate change, sustainability reporting and lobbying for good – today it is the smaller players leading the way.
“There’s Midcounties with its Co-operative Energy offering and support for community energy; the Phone Co-op’s introduction of the Fairphone to the UK; and Unity Trust Bank with its Living Wage accreditation and support for social enterprise.”
He added: “The Fair Tax Mark makes the point perfectly. Who was front and centre last February when the Mark was launched? Co-ops and social enterprises, of course. Yes, heroic ‘plcs’ have followed (in the case of fair tax it’s been the wonderfully progressive SSE and Go Ahead) but, without the support of co-ops and co-operators, initiatives such as this would never get off the ground. Long may it continue.”