Martin Cook's Blog

Martin Cook comments on responsible capitalism ahead of the CBI conference on Monday 19 November

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About Martin Cook
Martin Cook is UK & Ireland Commercial Managing Partner. He is responsible for a broad portfolio that includes industry expertise and breakthrough ideas in client service and marketing.

At the CBI conference he introduced Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever who delivered a keynote on how to link commercial imperatives to making the difference to society.

Martin is committed to a model of working whereby the virtuous circle of our success as a business is linked to the extent to which we can make the difference to our clients, our teams, our people and to society at large.

You can follow Martin on Twitter @martincook_ey

In the aftermath of the global economic crisis and ongoing troubles, people have focused on the question: should successful businesses put wider objectives than making money at the heart of their agendas?

This notion of responsible capitalism was debated at this year’s CBI Conference, introduced by me and with Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, giving a keynote speech on the topic.

The fact that the great and the good of British industry are debating this so publicly, shows how much our appetites have increased in terms of understanding just how all this can work.

What it is not about is putting the brakes on wealth creation, nor is it about corporate whitewash. It also goes beyond necessary and valued traditional corporate responsibility programmes, or sustainability targets.

It’s about putting shared value at the heart of a business strategy, a philosophy or mission that drives what an organisation does and how its people behave for the benefit of both the business and its respective stakeholders, from clients and customers to people and society.

We in EY believe that only businesses with this approach will succeed in future. It is a virtuous circle. The more we make the difference, the more attractive we are to the people who want a career in our firm, the better the relationships and understanding we have with our clients, and the better the performance of our business.

Join the debate on this by following @EY_UKI on Twitter and using the hashtag #CBI2012. You can also follow me @martincook_ey