If sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility are deeply embedded in the daily management of companies, corporate social responsibility (CSR) will become ‘serious business’, according to Jan Peter Balkenende, who spoke on behalf of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition this afternoon. This group of eight Dutch multinationals presented their publication entitled ‘Leadership and Corporate Governance for Sustainable Growth Business Models’. The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, VNO-NCW, supports this sustainable coalition.
‘Any dedicated CEO can take a personal interest in the opportunities and responsibilities associated with themes such as climate change, raw materials scarcity, health, and human rights,’ but according to Balkenende, Chairman of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC), enshrining sustainability and corporate social responsibility in the daily management of organizations is even more important. He feels that ‘Leadership and Corporate Governance for Sustainable Growth Business Models’ provides an answer to the question as to what directors, supervisory directors and staff members can do in real terms to pursue this goal. The publication presents a model that differentiates eight dimensions of corporate governance, each illustrated with concrete, practical examples.
‘Policy and strategy that incorporate sustainability into the company’s DNA will form the ultimate drivers of sustainable growth. This will add value to the company. It is revolutionary that this publication provides us with practical examples to explain the role of corporate governance in this respect,’ according to Bernard Wientjes, President of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, VNO-NCW.
Together with Paul Polman (CEO of Unilever), Feike Sijbesma (CEO of DSM), Camiel Eurlings (CEO of KLM), Trude Maas (Supervisory Director), and Jan Peter Balkenende (Partner at Ernst & Young), Wientjes shared experiences with some 130 CEOs and government administrators. Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs) addressed the audience in a special video message played at the event. The world of science was well-represented as well.