Session 22: Closing session, sustainable company
“We have to promote a new religion and a new economic approach: Business ethics for a sustainable development of the economy. Otherwise, we will be guilty of failing to serve the common interest of the human kind”. (CAO Dewang, Fuyao Glass industry group, china).
The economic and financial crisis has triggered the need for change of current business practices. Business actors have acknowledged that economy is not a goal itself and does not only aim at maximizing profit. It should rather serve society in order to curb poverty and increase happiness among people. Business has a vital role in society and has a substantial impact on individuals and companies. Therefore, businesses need to become aware of the consequences their activities have on society and the way they can commit to society. The core activity and the profit businesses make should benefit the whole society rather than some happy few.
Ethics and sustainable issues are now considered when promoting integrity and transparency related to corporate culture. We tend to expect the financial sector to be both profitable and economically responsible. The crisis has made the financial sector consider such issues as irresponsible investment and speculation, fraudulent schemes, corruption and bribery in order to address them. On the other hand, the sector can also have a positive impact by using specific tools such as insurance policies, which can play a vital role in order to protect people from natural disasters. Furthermore, responsible investments make it possible to have a positive impact, as long as they promote community development. All actors, namely governments and regulators, intermediaries, financial enterprises, the civil society and all individuals should altogether act towards better business practices and a more responsible behaviour for the benefit of the whole society and for the business world itself. Cooperation between all actors is crucial.
Mr CAO Dewang, CEO of Fuyao Glass Industry Group in China, is a relevant example and shows how somebody’s leadership can bring significant changes in business practices and employees’ lives. Mr CAO Dewang based his business practices on several elements, such as responsibility for his employees’ and families health and welfare, payment of taxes without any tax avoidance, respect of local laws and social institutions in all the countries in which his company operates. According to him, domestic consumption is a better means to reach economic development than exportation, and some measures should be taken in order to enhance consumption.
Aziza Dobardzic, Msc Strategy & Organisation Consultancy
Charline Chauvin, Msc Legal and Tax Management