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Week 11 Corporate sustainability – efficiency & equity.

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1 Week 11 Corporate sustainability – efficiency & equity

2 Man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me what I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is the manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self- love. Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations

3 A tale of 2 countries Cotton: Cost of production = 78c per pound Market price = 48c per pound In USA – subsidies provide the difference In Benin – farmers go out of business In UK – price of clothing has fallen 14.7% over the past 5 years

4 Sustainability Sustainability is concerned with the effect which action taken in the present has upon the options available in the future If resources are utilised in the present then they are no longer available for use in the future

5 We are now, more than ever, aware of the potentially negative impact of business on the environment, whatever the nature or size of the business. There can only be positive results from developing sustainability – from benefiting your own bottom line to benefiting tomorrows industry to benefiting the environment in which we all live. Tony Blair, Prime Minister, May 2000

6 The Triple Bottom Line 3 aspects of performance: Economic Social Environmental

7 Sustainability 1 Societal influence Environmental Impact Organisational culture Finance


9 Sustainability 2 Maintaining economic activity Conservation of the environment Ensuring social justice Developing spiritual and cultural values

10 The environment The business environment in which the firm is operating The local societal environment in which the organisation is located The wider global environment Nature

11 The environment A free resource? Classical Liberalism Infinitely available? Can be manipulated? A sacred trust?

12 The Gaia Hypothesis The ecosphere is a complete system The earth and all its constituent parts are interdependent The actions of one organism affect other organisms Responsibility Accountability Lovelock, 1979

13 Sustainable development The Brundtland Report General policy areas: Economic Environmental Social



16 Changing reporting Environmental reports CSR reports Sustainability reports

17 Corporate reporting % Mention sustainability 100 Focus on sustainability 70 Focus on sustainable development 15

18 Corporate sustainability No clear understanding The going concern principle Obfuscation Disingenuity

19 Risk reduction Sustainability reduces risk Sustainable development reduces risk more The semiotic is sufficient Reduced risk = reduced cost of capital



22 Sustainable sustainability Efficiency Financial Environmental Equity Satisficing Sustainable development

23 Sustainability A source of competitive advantage A strategic imperative Essential to survival

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