Can CSR pave the way towards global governance and sustainability?
The world is facing unprecedented challenges with global warming, loss of biodiversity, possible social unbalance due to automation and AI, etc. This article explores the possible role of corporations in the search for solutions.
As a citizen of Switzerland, I will have the probably unique privilege of voting on the global issues we are facing and influencing the course of action of my country. In effect, there will be 5 objects up for vote on June 13, 2021:
- A law to formally approve the COVID economic state support programs
- A new tax on all CO2 emissions to try and reach our global warming commitments
- A new law extending police powers in case of a suspicion of terrorism
- A ban of all synthetic pesticides
- A law conditioning government subsidies to farmers to the non-use of pesticides and antibiotics
These are very controversial objects and feelings are running high between supporters and opponents, but at least we get the opportunity of debating and consciously choosing a course of action that will influence our future. On the other hand, these are global issues requiring a global response and it is clear that coordinated world governance or the election of a global parliament are not realistic in the short term, so the decisions taken by a small country of 8+million people will have limited global impact.
In effect, national governments are by nature committed to defending the short-term interests of their specific countries as they need to secure re-election, but to quickly achieve global governance is an imperative if we want to avoid or mitigate environmental issues like those linked to global warming or dwindling biodiversity or reduce the negative social impacts of globalisation and automation/AI.
Corporations, on the other hand, are not limited to exclusively considering national interests: more and more of them employ a global workforce and serve consumers worldwide, so these stakeholders (employees and consumers) can greatly influence the course of action, corporate social responsibility stance and governance of these entities and the corporations in turn have influence over governments as they often fund political parties and make their voice heard in the public debate, so the choices they make in terms of sustainability, diversity and inclusion are relevant.
HR has a key role to play in the implementation of sustainable corporate global governance and in bringing about the cultural change and shift to a long-term view.
AIMS International is fully committed to supporting its clients in this evolution. With the support of our Global Sustainability Team we are working on systematically embedding sustainability into all our strategies and processes. Contact us to learn how we can support you.
About the Author:
Article written by Gregoire Depeursinge, Managing Partner AIMS International Switzerland & Global Practice Leader Industrial