Re­spon­si­bil­ity & Sus­tain­abil­ity

Consumer Voice - - Ckoertpcohruapte Responsibility -

One Goal Many Per­spec­tives

di­men­sions to fo­cus and sim­plify the ac­tion points. How­ever, the re­al­ity is that there are many ar­eas where the en­vi­ron­ment, the com­mu­nity and the or­ga­ni­za­tion over­lap each other – many a times, when you ig­nore the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween these di­men­sions, you get to­tally di­ver­gent opin­ions. And the point of view re­lated to your own his­tory, ge­og­ra­phy and ex­pe­ri­ences fur­ther colour the opin­ion. The in­di­vid­ual – ‘I’ – as a cit­i­zen, as a cor­po­rate man­ager, as a par­ent of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, or in any other role, is at the over­lap of all three ex­ter­nal di­men­sions. That should tell us some­thing about where the ac­tion needs to be ini­ti­ated.

Here is a sug­gested list to start with, which we can use to try out thought–ex­per­i­ments, view­ing each is­sue in dif­fer­ent di­men­sions and from dif­fer­ent points of view (for ex­am­ple, buyer based in a de­vel­oped mar­ket, sup­plier based in a de­vel­op­ing coun­try, an in­di­vid­ual work­ing in the sup­ply chain, his fam­ily and broader com­mu­nity): • child/fam­ily labour • fair pric­ing and fair com­pen­sa­tion across the sup­ply chain, in­clud­ing con­sumer, re­tailer, sup­plier and work­ers • re­place­ment of cot­tage-scale pro­duc­tion with large-scale in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion of goods set­ting up pro­duc­tion in cities ver­sus in vil­lages • or­ganic ver­sus in­or­ganic syn­thetic/ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied ver­sus nat­u­ral raw ma­te­ri­als In clos­ing, let me come back to ‘Ba­bel’. Ac­cord­ing to the Book of Gen­e­sis, a huge tower was built ‘to the heav­ens’ to demon­strate the achieve­ment of the people of Baby­lon who all spoke a sin­gle lan­guage, and to bind them to­gether into a com­mon iden­tity. God ap­par­ently was not par­tic­u­larly happy with this self-glo­ri­fy­ing at­ti­tude, and gave the people dif­fer­ent lan­guages and scat­tered them across the earth.

What­ever your re­li­gious (or non-re­li­gious) af­fil­i­a­tion, this story holds a gem of a les­son. No mat­ter how no­ble the cause of the cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­ity war­rior, it is good to be hum­ble and al­low di­ver­sity rather than try­ing to cap­ture ev­ery­one un­der one mono­lith with an ap­par­ently com­mon goal. The di­ver­sity may be a lot more pro­duc­tive and help to spread the ben­e­fits wider than one sin­gle ini­tia­tive.

The day that we spent on the sus­tain­abil­ity round­table cer­tainly demon­strated that very well.

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