A Campaign for Triple Purpose Capitalism - Summary
‘The Campaign for Triple Purpose Capitalism’ hopes to encourage businesses to have a broader purpose than just the pursuit of profit where it and, most critically its people, contribute to the Common Good and help to make the world a better place.
1. With capitalism playing such a fundamental role in our society everyone, from the CEO to the new trainee, has a responsibility as individuals to ensure their actions and decisions at work (however large or small) contribute to the Common Good and to making the world a better place. They cannot absolve themselves of this responsibility. Prioritising profit to the exclusion of their responsibilities towards other people, society and the environment is no longer an option.
2. There is a growing movement of business people, economists and organisations who feel that many British businesses (not all) are falling short in these responsibilities with their apparent lack of ethical values, pursuit of short-term profit, low investment in R&D and innovation, poor productivity and an unhappy workforce.
3. Now is the time for change. Now is the time for a business revolution with companies introducing a strategy where a positive contribution towards society and the environment, as well as making an ethical profit, becomes genuinely engrained in the DNA of the business.
4. These modern progressive companies whose employees accept their responsibilities towards each other, society and the environment will achieve long-term growth and a sustainable future.
5. This is a definable business strategy, easily understood by all staff and other stakeholders, which has the the long-term sustainability for the business as the objective. This focus and strategic emphasis on People, Planet and Profit is known as “Triple Purpose”. This is not about working within the law. We rather assume the vast majority will do this! Nor is it just about behaving ethically although ethics play a vital part in Triple Purpose. It is also a belief a belief firstly that people need to really care about one another whether they be colleagues, clients or suppliers. In fact everyone we come into contact with during our working life. Secondly, a belief that their individual actions concerning societal and environmental issues can genuinely help to make the world a better place.
6. A Triple Purpose Company is a business which believes in this philosophy and encourages its employees to strive towards this ideal. A Triple Purpose Company is a business which has three purposes for itself and its employees: firstly, for its people to make a positive contribution towards making the world a better place; secondly, to consider the ethical implications, as well as legal, in all decisions which have an environmental impact; thirdly to make an ethical profit.
7. It is our contention that the Triple Purpose principles will provide a genuine purpose for all employees in their daily business lives.
Many employees work in an environment far removed from the profit motive. A sales assistant working in a retail outlet will not necessarily understand the profit margins of the items he or she is selling. But they can understand their responsibility as individuals to contribute to making their work-place a better and more enjoyable place and can also understand their responsibility to provide a friendly and caring service to customers. These things will contribute, in some way, to help making the world a better place. It is our contention that employees who accept these responsibilities towards other people will have a sense of purpose in their job and as a consequence will be happier, more fulfilled and more motivated.
8. Each company will approach its Triple Purpose Strategy in different ways. But it could make the following four commitments:
a. All staff will agree to uphold the principles of Triple Purpose via a Triple Purpose Pledge and agree to communicate the culture throughout the company at all times.
b. To set out its collective Triple Purpose responsibilities in its Constitution/Mission Statement ensuring its workers, shareholders, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders are aware of this commitment.
c. To install management systems to measure Triple Purpose objectives on a regular basis and ensure the results are communicated to all staff and relevant stakeholders.
d. To appoint a Triple Purpose Champion who will be responsible for ensuring that Triple Purpose is engrained in the DNA of the business.
9. For example, A Triple Purpose Company could ask its people to agree to the following Triple Purpose Pledge:
a. People (or Society)
♦ the company strives to ensure its staff are happy in their job, motivated, well-trained, safe, have equal opportunities, a fair work-life balance and are fairly paid.
♦ that all staff behave responsibly and treat each other, the company, customers, suppliers and the wider society with care, respect, integrity and compassion at all times
♦ that no member of staff will undertake, or be asked to undertake, any illegal or unethical behaviour. There is an easily accessible and confidential help line available for complaint.
♦ to consider the ethical implications, as well as legal, in all decisions which have an environmental impact.
♦ the company and its staff will make a commitment to achieving environmental sustainability by the careful management of its consumption of energy and water, waste and toxic substances.
♦ introduction of environmental management, measurement and reporting systems that provide the structures and processes that help embed environmental efficiency into the company’s culture.
c. Ethical Profit
♦ to maximise profit to shareholders via an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable business strategy.
♦ to embed sustainability issues into the governance and decision making processes of the company.
10. We are not recommending an accreditation process as we feel it would restrict progress towards a more caring and ethical capitalism. We wish to work on trust. Additionally, every company will have different priorities and we do not wish to prescribe their priorities.
11. Subject to the size of the business, the formation of a Triple Purpose Committee is recommended, chaired by the Company’s Triple Purpose or Ethics Officer – the Triple Purpose Champion. This committee would be responsible for the fulfilment of the Triple Purpose strategy.
12. Triple Purpose Companies would be able to use the Triple Purpose Kitemark to promote their principles to all their stakeholders if they so wish.
13. There is, of course, no certainty but we believe the successful implementation of a Triple Purpose Strategy is likely to lead to a decrease in staff turnover, higher productivity, an increase in sales and most vitally, long-term sustainability. Most importantly though, the company and its employees would be making a valuable contribution towards making the world a better place for both current and future generations.
14. The concept of Triple Purpose Companies is being promoted via a “Campaign for Triple Purpose Capitalism” to consumers, employees, other stakeholders and to shareholders via a marketing campaign in particular the use of social media and publicity.
15. Unfortunately, we cannot rely on CEO’s to enact this transformation of capitalism (although we hope some will ‘get it’) so we must rely on a mass movement of people in business to make the change. This is a grass-roots campaign encouraging individuals to get involved and become Triple Purpose Champions to argue the case for Triple Purpose within their business.
16. We also hope that Companies already practising responsible capitalism will see the concept of Triple Purpose as an opportunity, through becoming a Triple Purpose Company, of promoting these values, to its staff, customers and wider stakeholders via the use of the Triple Purpose Kitemark.