Poverty Relief - The Business Case
24 May 2007 at 2:08 pm
There is a strong business case for Australian business to focus on, and do more to address the plight of the poor in developing nations according to a new report.
The report called Business for Poverty Relief was commissioned by a group of companies facilitated by World Vision with the research being carried out by the Allen Consulting Group.
The companies involved include ANZ, Grey Global Group, Visy Industries, IAG and Pfizer.
The report says there is a strong business case for companies to work towards relieving poverty as global poverty poses a direct threat to the future and current prosperity of a range of Australian businesses through the loss of potential markets and damage to foreign affiliates.
World Vision Chief Executive, Tim Costello, told The Age newspaper that Australian companies had a ‘blind spot’ and lagged behind their British and US counterparts in their commitment to corporate social responsibility.
The report makes recommendations for corporate Australia to boost poverty-reduction efforts.
It says that through responsible action across all aspects of business strategy and operations, companies can realise the benefits of, and opportunities in:
– Sustainability in new markets, created by contributions to job creation, income generation, a healthy workforce and the development of local businesses and skills.
– Greater stability in emerging markets through improved governance, and creating a favourable investment environment.
– Strengthened ‘license to operate’ in the region through official and civil acceptance.
– Addressing the real risk poverty presents to current and future prosperity in the region through political instability, damaged communities and threats to markets and business alliances.
– Reputational benefits from association with responsible development efforts including promotion of ethical behaviour, good governance, and robust political institutions.
– Deeper understanding and confidence in sourcing materials and services.
– Enhanced attraction and retention of the best employees looking for an opportunity to exercise their principles and beliefs through their careers.
The report asks how and why business should be involved in poverty relief. It also presents success stories where corporate initiatives have been taken in developing markets to respond to the evident needs around them.
To download the full report click on : Business for Poverty Relief, a business case for business action (PDF: 1.01 MB)