Eighteen months or so before the 2015 General Election, I suggested to a senior Government minister that the Conservatives should address the debates about the need to renew capitalism in the forthcoming election.
A new report shows positive direction of travel for corporate sustainability – and confirms insights from the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility work themes.
This is an ambitious project. It draws on jurisprudence, recent Asian political history, corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature, and political economy. Robert Hanlon argues that although social responsibility is an increasingly important corporate strategy, human rights and corruption remain marginalized CSR issues in China and Southeast Asia for three reasons. First, multinational corporations see the structural causes of human rights violations and corruption as outside their sphere of influence and responsibility. Second, divergent stakeholder interests are sidelining human rights and corruption as CSR issues. Third, pressure to achieve profit maximization is encouraging a “race to the bottom” scenario in which human rights are increasingly ignored. This book concludes that human rights and corruption will remain peripheral business issues until elite stakeholders agree on how these concepts should enter the social responsibility framework while being vigorously promoted as a global best practice
As society gives more attention to mental health and ageing populations, organisations will need to change the way they treat staff who are also carers.
New forms of corporate collaboration can drive sustainability, and create better products and services.
Businesses are engaging in varied models of collaboration to improve their own, and society's resilience.
Two new books provide some fascinating detail about how big international companies work and how those on the inside can help bring about real sustainable change.
More than 30 years ago, as a young and inexperienced social entrepreneur (not that I knew or used such a term then), I was just trying to do something practical to improve economic and social conditions in the north-east of England where I was based. Initially, for myself and fellow social entrepreneurs it felt very lonely. Before long however, we started to connect with kindred spirits around the country. We came from different political backgrounds, different ages and different sectors.
"The Sustainability movement will fail unless it creates a compelling future vision," Jo Confino argued in a recent piece. Collectively, he said, we have failed "to articulate a vision of a future that is both prosperous while remaining within planetary boundaries. Until it is able to showcase a plausible paradigm shift, then no one is going to feel safe letting go of the current system that is driving us towards the edge of an environmental and social abyss."
It’s time to reassess the best direction for the journey towards sustainable business. I vividly recall listening in early 2005 to a BBC Radio 4 play, Playing for Time – 3 days in May 1940(i), in which Winston Churchill’s long-serving personal detective, WH Thompson, described travelling in the car with Churchill, down the Mall from Buckingham Palace, after Churchill had been appointed as prime minister.