What will be the next step for corporate responsibility and sustainability in the future?
After the last month, tragic happenings in the textile industry were several hundreds of people in Bangladesh lost his or her life due to the race to produce textile or fashion garment to the lowest price possible. Bangladesh’s workers who sew clothes for Western consumers are amongst the lowest paid in the industry anywhere in the world. It is about time to raise questions about business ethics, corporate responsibility, and how companies work with a sustainable philosophy. The large corporation has a set of values they follow as their business ethics and guidelines for sustainability. Most companies produce sustainability reports, and measurement instruments to calculate the carbon footprint. Many products labelled as green, sustainable and Eco-friendly, most companies have done a lot to improve and lower their negative impact on nature, an inspection of factories and education of workers. However, it does not seem to cause a change. Why?
Re-think business philosophy
I guess the lack of understanding of what lies within a sustainable philosophy, corporate ethics, and green thinking. The core of the fundamental values of business ethics and a sustainable approach are missing in traditional western philosophies, and that it is time to Re-thinking Environment and Development in the Twenty-first Century. The history of the new theory of business developed in the 17th and 18th century. At that time, thinkers like Rousseau, Locke, Hobbes, Smith and Shaftesbury formed the intellectual foundation of modern business and capitalism evolved. During the time, terms as consumerism, consumer culture new vocabulary; however, all the philosophies based money as criteria for a good value in the society. In the middle of the 17th century, the moral philosopher and a pioneer of political economy Adam Smith developed the version of this general principle in which six psychological motives combine in everyone to produce the common good. He called it the invisible hand. In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, vol II; “by acting according to the dictates of our moral faculties, we necessarily pursue the most effective means for promoting the happiness of humanity. Nevertheless, what lies within good for humanity, food, education or greed?
Modern business philosophy
Perhaps the best-known business philosopher Peter Drucker; the development of business terms most effective means of transacting commerce or managing the enterprise, with some goal in mind, usually profitability, improving employee relations, marketing strategy and tactics. The marketing mix or four P; price, place, promotion and product. However, Drucker introduced new vocabularies as organisational behaviour. The not regulated trade of goods and services is capitalism -and, the result of the cost-effective, free market, PR, distribution and competition, means minimise cost and maximise profits. Again, money is what considered good, even Drucker been coined to stand for a healthy balance.
The purpose of a business
Most people debate that the primary purpose of marketing is to maximise profits for its owners, or in the case of a publicly-traded company, its stockholders, one of the late Economist Milton Friedman, was an exponent of this view. These business philosophies developed over those last centuries measured in money sequences. There is no such measurement for this economy as health care or food, however, missing Eco and sustainable thinking. Sustainable philosophy core elements an understanding of the interconnected truth, awareness, and compassion. We do not have such measurements yet, nevertheless; It is where the future of corporate responsibility and sustainable thinking headed. A quote from sustainability starts with fundamental values;
“The new economy is not market-driven but the value of nature. The solution is sustainable development. The growth of new values based on spiritual and the environment is the framework. It is happening as we speak. Hopefully, the economist knows that we have moved from an economy based on profit maximisation into a nature-based economy.”
The achieving sustainability will enable the earth to continue supporting human life
Sustainability is the capacity to long-lasting and durable. In ecology, terms describe how biologic systems remain diverse and productive over time. Healthy wetland and Forest that maintained are examples of sustainable biological systems. For people, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of wellbeing, which has managing of goods, cultural, ecological and economic dimensions.
It is precisely the opposite of what the old economy is standing for. Sustainability is, in fact, an enemy of capitalism as we see it in history. Companies of today cannot understand the underlying values in sustainable philosophies as Eco awareness, compassion, and connection. A report might state that they saved 58 million litres of water; however, as the same persons why that is good or why they do it, the answers will be almost certainly not because of compassion. The basic fundamental of sustainable values and guidelines lies in a profound philosophical transformation that hardly can be measured or name it as social sustainability. When companies start working with these values on an individual-level ability to take responsibility, and similar actions will happen. However, this is a long way to go, nevertheless, the only way.