A sustainable global economy is one that combines long-term profitability with ethical behavior, social justice, and environmental care. Companies can play a fundamental role in creating a sustainable future by embracing this challenge as an opportunity for innovation and long-term value creation.
In this paper, Yılmaz Argüden traces the development of a corporation’s attitude toward sustainability from its being an add-on that is nice to have and may enhance corporate reputation, through an approach that sees it more as a tool of risk management, to considering it a builder of value not just for the corporation but for all its stakeholders as well. This last stage in the progression is not just a matter of sharing a fixed quantum of value generated by the corporation, but rather it involves all parties working to enhance the total value created and thereby increasing value for all concerned. Clearly to do that, trust has to be built among all the players. Yılmaz Argüden has a great deal of experience with such relationships through his position of elected chair of the United Nations Global Compact Local Networks Advisory Group, bringing together companies, civil society, and labor unions from diverse countries and situations around the world.
This article is published with the permission of the Argüden Governance Academy, a nonprofit initiative based in Istanbul that promotes good governance in the public, nongovernmental organization, and corporate sectors through research, education programs, and awards.