Responsible capitalism is a responsibility on our shoulders and an opportunity in our hands Ernst & Young’s Martin Cook, from the CBI conference, reflects on the debate on responsible capitalism, following a keynote speech by Unilever CEO Paul Polman.
Martin Cook, Managing Partner Commercial at Ernst & Young, UK & Ireland, says:
A greater sense of responsibility
"People buy products and services increasingly where they trust and admire the business concerned. They worry if they think businesses engage in immoral activities and hold business to account on such issues. People want to do work that has purpose as well as income and choose employers accordingly. Business itself is already changing in response.
“At Ernst and Young we share the contention that doing good is also good business - what academics describe as shared value capitalism or capitalism 2.0.”
Shared value is not a bolt-on activity
"Shared value’ sees the connectivity with social responsibility not as fringe or a bolt-on activity but sitting at the heart of the business agenda: integral to vision and values and shaping all of your decisions and motivations.”
A responsibility on our shoulders, an opportunity in our hands
"The more of a difference we make, the more attractive we are to employees, the better our relationships with our clients, the better our performance in the market.
"There’s no short term way to do this. It requires a bit of soul searching. You need to get it right. But there are many examples of good practice in this area now – businesses making a real difference across a number of sectors.
"It is a responsibility on our shoulders, but it is also an opportunity in our hands. An opportunity to shape the future. An opportunity to really make a difference to the world we live in."
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