It’s Time for Private Enterprises to Step Up as Companies for Good
Governments have been instrumental in guiding people through 2020 and they do have a fundamental role to play in society, however they cannot tackle humanity’s future challenges alone. More than 80% of people are employed by the private sector and yet many of these companies continue to neglect their wider societal responsibilities. Capitalism remains the dominant economic force across the world and throughout history companies have continued to provide for human needs, so it is essential to question how private enterprise could become positive agents for change in conjunction with governments and an emerging non-profit sector.
Capitalism is not without faults, however Companies for Good argues that rather than eliminating private enterprise, now is the time to make it a legal obligation that companies step up and actively work to find solutions to humanity’s challenges.
David Logan is a seasoned corporate responsibility and sustainability practitioner and consultant, grounding Companies for Good within his 40 years of frontline practical CSR experience in Europe, US and over 30 emerging markets across the globe.
There are many examples of companies doing good in society, but reliance on the voluntary commitment of business leaders to ensure that companies play a positive role is no longer sufficient for a sustainable future. David argues it must now be mandatory for all companies, as the price for their freedom to do business, to have a plan to combat humanity’s challenges be
they economic, social or above all environmental. Companies must be firmly brought into collaboration with the governmental and non-profits sectors to help develop solutions to humanity’s problems.
David has lived through society’s great economic and social changes. The book provides some of his reflections on them, alongside a comprehensive overview of the changing role of companies and Capitalism from the early modern economy through to Socialism and the rise of the non-profit sector. Some believe that society can confront humanity’s challenges with a return to more authoritarian controls of the economy and society, but David argues that this has been tried in the past unsuccessfully. Instead, more energy needs to be directed towards evolving the global system into three formal sectors (Government, For-Profit and Non-Profit) that strive towards a sustainable society.
However, companies are not ready for this new role and they need to be. Companies for Good considers what this new social contract needs to look like, the importance of values, and how companies and stakeholders can be good citizens. It is possible for companies to retain the ability to create new products and services to meet human needs if they take on board the requirement to do this in a sustainable and responsible way, David argues.
Companies for Good provides a fresh and pragmatic perspective on some of humanity’s increasingly urgent problems. Readers can increase their understanding of the active role for-profits need to play in coalition with governments and non-profits to face the future. Only when all three sectors are engaged can the economic, social and environmental problems be tackled to create a prosperous future for all.