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’:
Appoint people committed to the long-term triple bottom line, engaged understanding and action, with the business case to support them.
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).
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).
Persuasion and leading by example is more effective than compliance with legislation (a UK Community Reinvestment Act, extending the Social Value Act).
Commit zero waste to landfill, design waste out of the system, promote the use of renewable resources (sharing vehicle capacity to reduce fuel consumption).
Reduce commercial confidentiality to a minimum, adopt standard and meaningful reporting procedures on an appropriate timescale (adopting GRI standards).
Recognise that people — employees, suppliers, producers, customers, shareholders — are the most important resource of any business (holding meaningful consultations on key issues).
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).
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