A collective approach to building sustainable wealth

A collective approach to building sustainable wealth

The Sustainable Business Network (SBN) is pulling together a bunch of brilliant and diverse experts to discuss ‘shared value’ at a forum on creating sustainable wealth later this month.

Creating sustainable wealth: the collective challengeThe concept of ‘shared value’ was first defined a little over 12 months ago, when Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer published Creating Shared Value in the Harvard Business Review.

The academic definition goes something like this: "the concept of shared value relates to policies and operating practices that enhance the competitiveness of a company while simultaneously advancing the economic and social conditions in the communities in which it operates". 

“It caused a bit of excitement amongst those interested in how business can gain and articulate business value alongside environmental or social value”, says Rachel Brown, SBN’s chief executive. 

“It’s not really a new concept but just a rather clever strategy for delivery to it.”

The SBN forum brings NGOs, funders, and businesses large and small together to examine this shift in sustainability thinking.

Nick Jones, Research and Insights Manager at IAG New Zealand, is one of the Forum’s organising panel – he has this to say. “Lots of businesses are waking up to the fact that many of the issues they face are too complex for them to solve on their own. Consequently they’re looking to work in partnerships with community organisations that can help them deal with these issues and deliver value for them and the community they serve.”

Business journalist, Rod Oram, will facilitate the forum while Jonathan Watts, author of When a Billion Chinese Jump, will undertake the keynote speaker role. 

They will be supported by the experience of business and social leaders sharing their insights (using examples from Ngati Whatua, Solar City, The Big Stretch, Chow Hill and CityHop) into corporate social responsibility – how business can generate profitable returns while addressing personal values and desires for better social and environmental outcomes.

What: Creating Sustainable Wealth: The Collective Challenge

Where: Westpac on Takutai, Level 9, Westpac on Takutai, 16 Takutai Square, Auckland CBD.

When: March 29

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