Frequently Asked Questions

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does Triple Purpose mean?

Triple Purpose is doing business in a fair and sustainable way with the company having three purposes with ethical profit, social and environmental considerations being an integral part of the business strategy, decision-making process and daily life.

2. What is the Campaign for Triple Purpose Capitalism?

The Campaign for Triple Purpose Capitalism is focussed on encouraging companies and the people who work for them to behave more ethically with regard to how it makes its profits and its impact upon society and the environment.

3. What are the Campaign’s objectives?
  • To encourage businesses and very specifically those who work within them, to consider the ethical aspects of all their decisions both personal and commercial.
  • To argue the case that Triple Purpose Capitalism will be a greater force for good in the world.
  • To argue the case that Triple Purpose Companies will be more profitable and sustainable.
  • To encourage businesses to become Triple Purpose Companies and to promote their Triple Purpose status internally to its family’ of stakeholders and externally to customers and the wider world if it so wishes.
4. How do Triple Purpose Companies differ from other ethical organisations?
  • Probably very little! There are many ethical companies, small, medium and large. The principles of Triple Purpose merely provide a template, a focus for the management and staff to promote their ethical values both internally to ‘family’ stakeholders and to the outside world.
  • Triple Purpose Companies will have an ongoing commitment to achieve ethical profits combined with a positive impact upon society and the environment.
  • All members of staff will make a commitment to the principles of Triple Purpose.
  • We recommend a Triple Purpose Company installs a Triple Purpose Committee (TPC) which will be responsible for Triple Purpose within the business –  see FAQ #18 for more information.
5. Why is it important to make an Ethical Profit?
  • Companies need to make a profit for investment in equipment, machinery, staff, training, health and safety, innovation and R & D.
  • Companies need to be profitable to repay investors.
  • Companies need to be seen as profitable should they require capital from a bank or share capital.
  • Companies making an ethical profit are likely to be more sustainable.
  • An ethically profitable company will retain staff and be more able to employ top talent.
6. Why is it important to be concerned about people and the society in which we operate?
  • The long-term survival of society will depend on the collective decisions of us all.
  • We all, as individuals, have a responsibility to the society and the environment in which we live, to ensure a fair and decent society for the current and future generations. We can all make a difference if we consider the ethical aspect of our actions.
  • A company concerned about people and society is likely to be more sustainable.
  • In future, the success of a business will be measured on how it treats society and the environment in addition to its profitability.
  • Customers will be more inclined to buy from companies they feel have respect and integrity for people as they will know this respect includes them.
7. Why is it important to be concerned about our environmental impact and what we, as individuals, can do about it
  • It is now widely accepted that the consumption of fossil fuels is causing global warming with potentially catastrophic consequences. We need to do something about this problem NOW. Each of us can play a part!
  • We have a responsibility to ensure we leave an environmentally secure world to our children and generations to come.
  • Most businesses understand the implications of global warming and accept their responsibilities to achieve environmental sustainability by the careful management of their consumption of energy and water, waste and toxic substances.
  • We understand the implications of the continued abuse of the environment by us as individuals and as employees of a business.
8. How will we campaign for Triple Purpose?
  • By arguing the case that Triple Purpose Capitalism will be a greater force for good in the world.
  • By arguing the case that Triple Purpose Companies will be more sustainable and more profitable over time.
  • By encouraging companies to become Triple Purpose Businesses and to promote their Triple Purpose status internally and, potentially, externally.
9. Surely running a business is all about legally maximising profit?

No, this is not true!

Many believe that it is the duty of directors to maximise the profits for the company for the benefit of the shareholders. While directors do have a responsibility to maximise profit, it is not true they have a legal responsibility to maximise profit to the detriment of good faith and honesty. directors have a statutory duty to abide by the Companies Act 2006 Code of Conduct which includes a fiduciary relationship of trust which places a duty on company directors to act in the best interests of the company in good faith and honesty.

There is also a code of conduct to consider, which includes:

• the likely consequence of any decision in the long term
• the interests of the company’s employees
• The impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment

10. Why should we change – what it wrong with the status quo?
  • Many feel that capitalism is at a crossroads.   Its reputation has never been so low! Every day seems to bring a new corporate scandal including companies not paying their fair rate of tax or not paying their suppliers on time, excessive pay for senior executives, LIBOR, deceptive fuel emissions, miss-selling and many others. Not only that but the very rich just seem to get richer and richer and ordinary folk just get poorer! Most ordinary folk have just had enough and want change! Capitalism is under threat!
  • Research suggests that nearly 60% of those working in the private sector are unhappy in their jobs. Other research suggests that bullying within companies is on the increase. In the 21st century, this is deplorable! More emphasis needs to be placed on increasing happiness in the workplace by improved leadership skills, training, fair pay, genuine equal opportunities, health and safety and a fair work-life balance.
  • With the threat of global warming and environmental degradation, businesses must reduce their negative impact upon the environment.
11. Are Triple Purpose Companies able to make a profit?
  • Yes, of course! The more profit the better! Some of this profit can be reinvested in R&D, innovation, fairer pay, health and safety as well as rewarding shareholders for their trust and investment. A profitable company will be more sustainable and will be able to provide long-term job security for its employees. It must be ethical profit, of course!
12. What are the benefits of being a Triple Purpose Company
  • A happier and motivated work-force will decrease staff turnover and absenteeism and increase productivity.
  • A stronger ethical relationship with clients, one built on friendship, trust, integrity and respect, will lead to more sales.
  • A stronger ethical relationship with other stakeholders including suppliers, one built on friendship, trust, integrity and respect, will lead to more sustainable contracts and agreements.
  • Increasingly, companies with strong values towards the environment attract more committed employees and more loyal customers.
  • The marketing of the Triple Purpose Company status will help improve the company image and reputation.
  • A strong ethically focussed organisation would be less likely to suffer a damaging commercial disaster and if such a disaster were to occur, a Triple Purpose Company would be better equipped to deal with the problem quickly.
  • Investment in training, R&D and innovation can improve a company’s ability to adapt to new market conditions.
  • Society at large is now expecting companies to have sustainability as a strategic objective.
  • There is evidence that highly sustainable companies dramatically out-perform the low-sustainability ones in terms of both stock market and accounting measures.
13. What is a Triple Purpose Company?
  • The core purpose of a Triple Purpose Company is to focus on its positive social and environmental impact as well as making a profit from whatever products or services it provides.
14. When can a company use the Triple Purpose Kite Mark?

A Triple Purpose Company can use the Kite Mark internally to employees and family stakeholders when:

  • All the staff pledge to uphold the principles of Triple Purpose and the Board agrees to communicate the culture throughout the company at all times.
  • It sets out its collective Triple Purpose responsibilities to its workers, shareholders, the environment, customers, other stakeholders and to the wider community in its Company Constitution.
  • It installs management systems to measure Triple Purpose objectives on a regular basis and ensures the results are communicated to all staff and relevant stakeholders.

A Company can use the Triple Purpose Kite Mark externally to customers and the wider world when it feels it can justify the claim!

15. What is a Triple Purpose Champion?

A Triple Purpose Champion is someone who believes in the principles of ethical capitalism and will look to establish these principles within his or her company. A Triple Purpose Champion believes in creating a happier, more motivated, creative and innovative workforce, a safer working environment and a more sustainable company environmentally, socially and financially.

16. What are the benefits of being a Triple Purpose Company to the shareholders and creditors
  • A strong ethically focussed organisation would be less likely to suffer a damaging commercial disaster, and if such a disaster were to occur, a Triple Purpose Company would be better equipped to deal with the problem more effectively.
  • Following the Triple Purpose Principles will create a happier and motivated work-force which in turn will decrease staff turnover and absenteeism, increase productivity and so increase profitability.
  • A stronger ethical relationship with other stakeholders including suppliers, one built on friendship, trust, integrity and respect, will lead to more sustainable contracts and agreements.
  • Increasingly, companies with strong values towards the environment attract more committed employees and more loyal customers.
  • Investment in training, R&D and innovation can improve a company’s ability to adapt to new market conditions.
  • There is evidence that highly sustainable companies dramatically outperform low-sustainability ones in terms of both stock market and accounting measures.
17. What are Ethical Profits?

Ethical Profits are profits derived from a for-profit organisation with strong societal and environmental values – a company where values of integrity, responsibility, respect and compassion are engrained in all its decision making.

18. What is the Triple Purpose Committee?
  • Subject to the size of the business, it is recommended that Triple Purpose Companies form a Triple Purpose Committee (TPC) with members including a dedicated member of staff (the Triple Purpose Officer or similar name), a Board Director (maybe a non-executive) and for larger companies, a representative from internal audit. The remaining members of the TPC would be comprised of representatives from other departments within the organisation.
  • For smaller companies, at the very least, someone should be responsible for the Triple Purpose strategy.
  • The TPC is to advise the entire workforce of the Triple Purpose strategy and encourage staff and other stakeholder engagement in decision making.
  • The TPC will identify priority objectives, benchmarking the company against industry best practice, setting targets, implementation, review and reporting results to the Board.
  • The Board must be required to fund this TPCin terms of company time and give respect to its recommendations.
19. Who can be a Member of the Triple Purpose Committee?

We do not wish to prescribe who is a member of the Triple Purpose Committee but we do recommend the following as a minimum:

* The Company’s Triple Purpose Officer or the persons responsible for the Triple Purpose Strategy within the business

* A representative from the Board

* A representative from the Trade Union (if applicable)

* Other members, from other departments, can be co-opted as required

20. Why is a happy workforce so important?

Happier employees lead to a decrease in absenteeism and sickness, a decrease in staff turnover, an increase in productivity, more engagement, innovation and creativity. Research also suggests that happiness and well-being create more effective teams and better leaders.

21. Is there an accreditation process to become a Triple Purpose Company?

No! We trust companies who claim to be Triple Purchase will act ethically. We do not wish to dictate to companies how they behave because of differences in cultural perspectives, operational structures and strategic orientations.

Behaving ethically is basically common sense although we accept there will be some difficult marginal cases as to what is right and wrong.

There are just four basic requirements for a Triple Purpose Company:

  • All the staff must pledge to uphold the principles of Triple Purpose and agree to communicate the culture throughout the company at all times.
  • The Company must ensure that the Company Constitution sets out its collective Triple Purpose responsibilities to its workers, shareholders, the environment, customers, other stakeholders and to the wider community.
  • The Company must install management systems to measure Triple Purpose objectives on a regular basis and ensure the results are communicated to all staff and relevant stakeholders
  • At least one member of staff (the Triple Purpose Officer) must be responsible for ensuring that the Triple Purpose Principles are adhered to.

Can you help in any way?

We are looking for some help in the areas of social marketing, copywriting and strategy. If you feel you can contribute to changing capitalism to make the world a better place, please contact Jim Bignal.
Mobile: 00 44 (0) 7983 33808500 
jim.bignal@triplepurpose.org

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