Performance measures that support other aspects of social responsibility are less common, although the notion of sustainability is gathering some momentum. In his book Cannibals With Forks, The Triple Bottom Line of the 21st Century (2000), John Elkington asks: “Is it progress if a cannibal eats with a fork?” The cannibals in this question are the business firms whose only mission appears to be a quest to devour their competitors. The fork that these cannibals use to progress to the next stage of civilisation is the concept of sustainable business.The Global Reporting Initiative (1997) (www.globalreporting.org) is an attempt to build a business case around the concept of sustainability.The initiative has three ambitious aims:
Success at these aims would see us all working with an additional set of performance criteria against which both our shareholders and customers could make a judgement about our organisation.If you want to get a head start and begin building an organisation capable of coping with this different way of operating, then you may wish to consider the following (Nelson 1998) characteristics of organisations creating societal value-adding.
The opportunity and challenge now exists for us to apply a new level of thinking that can create a sustainable business case for greater social responsibility within all our organisations.
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