Food for Thouught: How do the most important outcomes from Davos impact your business plans for the next 12-24 months?
Curated by Helena Herrero
Here are a few of the things that happened at 2017 Annual Meeting in Davos:
1) A new fund backed by the Norwegian government has been launched that will raise $400 million and protect 5 million hectares in countries working to reduce deforestation and forest and peat degradation. The fund could lead to $1.6 billion in deforestation-free agriculture investments, also leading to job creation and economic growth.
2) The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was officially launched at the Annual Meeting with the aim of quickly reacting to epidemics by creating vaccines that could be released quickly once an outbreak occurs.
3) Signatories to the Forum’s New Vision for Arab Employment project said they have now helped re-skill 250,000 people since 2013, and are now targeting 1 million current and future workers.
4) The Forum teamed with the University of California Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute to build a coalition to protect the world’s oceans and marine resources; a global commons estimated by the World Wildlife Fund to be worth $2.5 trillion.
5) The Forum mobilized a public-private coalition to build a responsible, inclusive and sustainable battery supply chain. The lithium-ion battery market is expected to be worth $70 billion by 2024, yet production is linked to issues such as child labor, health and safety hazards for workers, environmental impacts and life-cycle sustainability.
6) 40 governments and businesses, including some of world’s largest consumer goods, retailers and recycling firms, endorsed a plan to increase global reuse and recycling rates for plastic packaging from its current 14% to 70%.
7) Social Entrepreneur Gary White of water.org, co-founded with Matt Damon, announced a major new $1.2 million partnership with Stella Artois to help provide clean water to 3.5 million people.
8) GoodWeave International, another social enterprise, announced a new international program, Sourcing Freedom, to stop modern slavery in supply chains. There are estimated to be 21 million people in forced and bonded labor around the globe. The program is backed by a number of global businesses from across a range of industries.
9) Some of the world’s largest financial service providers, global IT and telecom companies and the international humanitarian community agreed on six principles to better enable digital cash payments in crisis-affected populations. Digital cash has a proven track record of fostering entrepreneurialism and boosting local economies.
10) Last but not least, 100 leading businesses signed the Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership. The Compact was developed with the Forum’s International Business Council which will now develop a framework which will allow the measurement of a long-term approach.
The Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership:
Corporations and investors are powerful actors in society. As such, their responsive and responsible leadership can significantly improve the state of the world. There is emerging consensus on the need for a new Compact for corporations, their chief executive officers and boards of directors, as well as leading investors and asset managers to create a corporate governance framework with a focus on the long-term sustainability of corporations and the long-term goals of society.
I, the undersigned, share the conviction that:
1. Society is best served by corporations that have aligned their goals to serve the long-term goals of society. The Sustainable Development Goals offer a useful roadmap for such alignment.
2. Short-term financial gains should not distract from the corporate and societal goals of long-term economic prosperity and social welfare.
3. There is a need for a Compact that recalibrates the relationship between public corporations and their major investors, and conceives of corporate governance as a collaboration among corporations, shareholders and other stakeholders working together to achieve long-term value and resist short-termism.
4. Disagreement between stakeholders is best resolved in a transparent and respectful manner, de-escalating conflictual stances wherever possible.
As a responsive and responsible leader I, the undersigned, commit to acting within the remit of my responsibilities, duties and influence to:
1. Ensure the board oversees the definition and implementation of corporate strategies that pursue sustainable long-term value creation.
2. Encourage periodic review of corporate governance, long-term objectives and strategies at the board level as well as clear communication between corporations, investors and other stakeholders about the outcomes.
3. Promote meaningful engagement between the board, investors and other stakeholders that builds mutual trust and effective stewardship, and promotes the highest possible standards of corporate conduct.
4. Publicly support the adoption of the Compact and implement policies and practices within my organization that drive transformation towards the adherence to long-term strategies and sustainable growth for the benefit of all stakeholders.