Business Principles

5 Principles

The growing interdependence of our world requires business leaders who think and act differently, creating new value for both business and society. Through the shared efforts of our students, faculty and partners, the Center for Social Value Creation is enabling a movement to make 'creating a better world through business,' business as usual within the next generation. Our work is rooted in five Principles for Better Business that together aim to advance economic, social and environmental prosperity. When it comes to doing business better, this is where we start.

Lead with Integrity, Transparency and Purpose


To lead with integrity, transparency and purpose implies a deep commitment to ethical action, regardless of circumstance. Leaders who act with this principle set the tone for their organizations, and articulate a shared vision that facilitates dialogue, inspires loyalty and enhances brand credibility.

Embrace Stakeholders


Shareholders need a return on investment, but business works best when it creates value for a range of stakeholders. Customers, employees, suppliers and society at large contribute to the stakeholder fabric that enables a business to thrive. When a business embraces stakeholders it can enable more meaningful work for employees, enhance the economic potential of communities and increase profits for shareholders.

Invest in the Long Term


Global prosperity requires us to look beyond quarterly profits toward long-term economic, social and environmental wellbeing. Business strategies that align in this way require careful planning, and a commitment to future generations. The U.N. Sustainable Development Goals offers an outline for businesses wanting to take part in a more prosperous, sustainable economy that includes a commitment to social responsibility and a return on capital.

Safeguard the Natural World


Companies come in all types and sizes, but they universally depend on well-functioning ecological systems. That’s because all food, water and materials that people consume daily derive from the natural world. Business has both an impact and dependency on these systems, and thus a vested interest in working with government and civil society to safeguard their future. Growing populations and threats to resource depletion increase the urgency.

Leverage Markets to Address Societal Challenges


Business is not responsible for all the world’s problems, but it must take part in solving them. When focused on social and environmental challenges, market systems can help drive scalable solutions that add value, and don’t rely solely on philanthropy. Rising demand for responsibly-made goods and services underscores the opportunity to create a better world, while pursuing economic success.