Five Principles for Better Business

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Invest in the Long Term

Global prosperity requires us to look beyond quarterly profits, toward long-term value creation. Business strategies devised in this way require careful planning and a commitment to future generations.  As companies align investments and capital allocations with long-term growth, a more sustainable, comprehensive economy becomes possible. The United Nations sustainable development goals offer one framework for businesses to realize market opportunities that are socially just, environmentally secure, economically prosperous.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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