To face the many challenges of the 21st century we must enter into a “new Era of Collaboration.” according to Harvard Professor and social responsibility expert Mark Kramer.
“Traditionally, the relationship between business and society has been viewed as in opposition to one another. That is not necessarily true. In fact, you can find ways in which businesses and society can work together for their mutual benefit. The reality is, business and society are interdependent –one cannot truly thrive and succeed without the other’s help,” said Kramer.
Creating Shared Value calls for a shift in the attitude of corporations: to move from viewing social programs as a cost of doing business, into looking at these as opportunities to help society while at the same time increasing profitability. Kramer noted that when corporations discover that they can increase profits by benefiting society in the course of doing business, they tend to make more investments into social programs.
Good for society, good for business
As what South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare had done with their HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria medication. They sold it at an affordable prices—costing about a third to half their regular retail prices. With their bold move, it helped restored health and survival of poor South African patients.
As a result, Aspen Pharmacare is now South Africa’s leading drug company, with 40% annual growth; at the same time, more poor patients now avail of life-saving medicines at prices they can afford.
It’s one example of how a company can become competitive and profitable by benefiting the society where it operates.
Sharing the CSV approach
Nestlé Philippines with the Asian Development Bank, the Philippine Business for Social Progress and the Asian Institute of Management RVR Center for Social Responsibility, organized the CSV Forum in order to share its business philosophy, one that has been in place since Nestlé was founded almost 140 years ago.
The CSV approach in doing business have been both profitable for the company and knowledgeable for the consumer. The “Laki sa Gatas” and BOW (Business on Wheels) program both help the Filipino nation to live healthy and strong.