Proposal Paper for the 21 Century : How Can Company Responsibility Be Exercised?
Proposal Paper produced by the socioprofessional network, Company Leaders and Executives. For a Sustainable Prosperity. Proposal for a code of conduct on how to exercise economic, social, and environmental responsibilities in companies.
Yves De Bretagne, November 2001
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Company legitimacy, in the eyes of civil society, is based on the whole of their impact on society and not only on their economic role. The influence of companies on the evolution of societies is all the more significant that traditional systems of political, economic, and social regulation are slow to adapt to changes in the present world. Businesses have to constantly adapt to market variations, meet new consumer demands, compete, tackle complex organizational problems, and combine their long-term vision with short-term adjustments. Quite logically, they have become the first operators on the world scene to reach the stage of globalization. In this context, their responsibility is acutely felt and experienced by civil society.
It is up to the different members of a company, individually and collectively, to invent ways and resources to assume these new responsibilities regarding the distribution of wealth, ecology, or human rights, with all their partners: citizens, employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, competitors.