DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD IN 2019
Katell Le Goulven, executive director of The Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, says that the most damaging thing business could do across the globe is simply continue business as usual.
Hoffman is a new INSEAD institute exploring the intersection of business and society.
Le Goulven told Management via email that with current levels of environmental pressure, technological vulnerability and geopolitical instability, we have to innovate, reduce risk as much as possible and find better and more sustainable ways of doing business.
“As globalisation and technology proliferate – and the world’s population grows towards ten billion people mid-century – these pressures will become more acute.
“We have enough evidence to know that it is in the best interest of business to step up. By some estimates, sustainability and positive social impact represent more than US$12 trillion in economic opportunity. Now is the moment for business to go beyond do no harm, look at their net positive contribution and seize this opportunity.
“Business leaders must avoid falling into the trap of post-facto marginal correction and start really rethinking our global economic system.
“At INSEAD, we consider this part of our responsibility as educators of business leaders. The Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society is working to reflect the need for responsible leaders in how we educate and in how we operate. So how can business be a force for good in the 2019 year? “We live in a time when there are more options and incentives than ever before to transform business in line with globally agreed social, environmental and economic goals.
“Many of these options work for the bottom line – energy efficiency, investment in renewable energy, increasing diversity, sustainable supply chains and responsible investing. These options can reduce risk and enhance performance. 2019 presents a great opportunity for business to be a force for good,” she wrote.
“This year is the opportunity for business to examine their business models and their operational realities, engage with forwardthinking businesses in their sector and determine their options as part of a three-step process. • “Step one is to quickly implement options with the most immediate
benefits to the bottom line. • The next step is to take a look at what more can be done to accelerate the long-term transition to more sustainable ways of doing business. • The final step is to make a long-term commitment that makes sense for your business – and your society. So for example if you rely on raw materials, commit to sustainable sourcing. For those with a vehicle fleet, commit to low-emission, low-maintenance options like electric. Businesses with physical footprint can commit to renewable energy.
Combined with immediate actions that deliver immediate returns, visible long-term commitments empower every business as a force for good in 2019 and beyond.”