10 Commandments for Business in a Better World

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Tom Levitt suggests there are ten urgent demands for a better world that leaders of businesses can and should deliver and lobby for, within their roles as corporate citizens. All can be justified by a conventional ‘business case’:

number 1Select and create leaders who value sustainability:

Appoint people committed to the long-term triple bottom line, engaged understanding and action, with the business case to support them.

number 2Redefine wealth, growth and assets:

Companies and nations should be valued according to overall environmental, social and economic impact, accounting for positive and negative externalities (utilising the Social Progress Index to address shortcomings of GDP).

number 3Invest for the long term, for your grandchildren’s generation:

Behave in every respect as though you really want your company to exist in fifty years’ time, as family-owned firms traditionally do (abandoning quarterly reporting).

number 5Use legislation to facilitate rather and enforce progress:

Persuasion and leading by example is more effective than compliance with legislation (a UK Community Reinvestment Act, extending the Social Value Act).

number 6Be environmentally- and resource-friendly in all that you do:

Commit zero waste to landfill, design waste out of the system, promote the use of renewable resources (sharing vehicle capacity to reduce fuel consumption).

number 7Commit to open and continuous comprehensive reporting:

Reduce commercial confidentiality to a minimum, adopt standard and meaningful reporting procedures on an appropriate timescale (adopting GRI standards).

number 8Understand the value of the five-pointed star of stakeholders:

Recognise that people — employees, suppliers, producers, customers, shareholders — are the most important resource of any business (holding meaningful consultations on key issues).

number 9Reward all employees on a rational basis:

All pay scales should be open and transparent, including any bonuses, which should be structured around the creation of long-term benefit (ensuring employee representation on remuneration committees).

number 10Reduce the influence of the middle-man between asset owners and assets:

Good practice in fund management exists and is intended to be helpful, but agreed principles are not being observed (applying local authority pension fund management standards to private schemes).

*This extract is taken from the second edition of Welcome to GoodCo: Using the Tools of Business to Create Public Good, by Tom Levitt


Read more from Tom Levitt9781472469830[1]

20% of this book is freely available on

the Gower website. 

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