Geneva, Switzerland, 21 September 2021 — Crises in climate, health and inequality are compelling organizations to align business strategies with equity and social justice values.
In a new whitepaper, Lighthouse Action on Social Justice Through Stakeholder Inclusion, the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and Laudes Foundation, shines a light on emerging corporate momentum supporting stakeholder inclusion and social justice.
Through the case studies of nine “lighthouse examples,” the report chronicles how the following companies and coalitions are establishing stakeholder inclusion models and best business practices in three key areas:
Making investments targeting impacted communities in value chains and ecosystems:
- The Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains (UN Foundation, BSR, Women Win/Win-Win, Gap Foundation, PVH Foundation, H&M Foundation, the VF Foundation, and the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation)
- In Solidarity Program (Mastercard)
- Replenish Africa Initiative (The Coca-Cola Foundation)
Influencing public policy and speaking out as corporate citizens:
- Open for Business Coalition (39 major corporations)
- Racial Equality and Justice Task Force (Salesforce)
Applying rigorous accountability practices and sharing power with workers in supply chains and communities:
- Unilever’s Living Wage commitment (Unilever)
- Farmer Income Lab (Mars, ABinBev, Danone, Oxfam, IDH, Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, UNDP)
- Amul Supplier Cooperative Ownership (Amul)
- Patagonia’s Implementation of Regenerative Organic Certified Standards in its Apparel Supply Chain (Patagonia)
The whitepaper outlines successes and pain points as these leading lighthouse partnerships between business and civil society strive for more meaningful participation with communities most impacted by systemic injustices. Each business is unique in its culture and path to long-term value creation, but all are committed to the belief that stakeholder primacy leads to optimal outcomes.
The time to move forward with these ideals is now, and the conclusion is clear in that, “…the crises of pandemic, protest and social disruption have created an inflection point for many companies to evaluate their corporate sustainability strategies,” said David Sangokoya, Head, Civil Society and Social Justice, World Economic Forum. “Stakeholder inclusion must be at the centre of any corporate action on equity and social justice in our unequal world…positioning business on the path towards redesigning business models that shift power and value towards stakeholder primacy.”
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