Breaking New Ground in Shared Value

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Written by Scott T. Massey

Global Action Platform and KPMG International launched a new collaboration last September at the United Nations in New York during UNGA week to recognize and encourage corporations to pursue shared value strategies that promote social progress and shared prosperity.

The multi-year collaboration between KPMG International and Global Action Platform creates an annual global award for shared value. The collaboration builds on work with a distinguished steering committee of independent senior executives, economists, civic leaders, and scholars, including Mark Kramer, who with Michael Porter co-authored the concept of “shared value”. The focus is on developing metrics and criteria for effective shared value corporate strategy, nominating companies excelling in this area, and honoring achievement annually at the Global Action Summit, moderated and hosted this year by Fareed Zakaria (CNN).

The Global Shared Value Award will recognize and encourage corporations to address major societal challenges through innovative business strategy, that is, to create “shared value.”  The award promotes private sector engagement and innovation that improve the quality of life and build prosperity for companies, individuals, communities, regions, and the world.

The 2016 Global Shared Value Awards were presented to Danone (Paris) and Bridge International Academies (Nairobi) by Fareed Zakaria (CNN) and Dr. Scott T. Massey (Chairman, Global Action Platform) at the 2016 Global Action Summit.

The Global Shared Value Award recognized Danone for the company’s commitment to reconceiving products and markets through a 100M euro fund to support local initiatives with positive ESG impacts, which has funded 64 projects in 28 countries; its Nutricia Research programs that team with public/private/academic organizations in 55 countries to develop food and health innovations; and its high ranking on environmental, health, nutrition, packaging, and water related risk management. Presenters also noted Danone’s commitment to enable local cluster development through work with local farmers; and strong management commitment to shared value corporate strategy.

“According to CEO Emmanuel Faber “for Danone, business is about value creation, in a way which goes beyond a traditional economic definition. Our belief is that long term, sustainable growth comes only through focusing on the benefits we can bring to the people, the cultures and the communities with whom we work. We constantly seek to align our vision of the world, our mission and our businesses: we believe we have a special responsibility, as expressed in our Manifesto, to help and support people in adopting healthier and more sustainable eating practices. Danone has a long heritage of balancing economic and social commitments, and I am proud that we are continuing to be recognized. This builds on our credentials as a responsible business, with Danone already a component of leading social responsibility indexes, including the FTSE4Good Index, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Vigeo, and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.”

Most recently, Danone was recognized, along with only four other companies, by the United Nations for its global leadership in promoting gender equality and family health through the launch of a new global parenting policy.  Emmanuel Faber, Global CEO of Danone committed to implement a comprehensive parental policy offering, among other benefits, an 18-week gender neutral paid parental leave policy for the global work force as the Inaugural HeForShe Thematic Champion for Paid Parental Leave. As a result of this shared value initiative, Danone becomes a UN Women’s HeForShe Inaugural Thematic Champion – an honor awarded to those whose work is seen by the UN to be promoting gender equality around the world.

The Global Shared Value Award (SME Category) recognized Bridge International Academies for the company’s outstanding record in reconceiving education for a new market; improving gender equality through education that serves male and female students equally; enabling local cluster development through training of local teachers and educational leaders; and a strong management commitment to the principles and metrics of shared value business strategy.

“We are honoured to receive this prestigious award to recognise our 100,000 children in Africa who are learning to become confident adults, ready to achieve their dreams and make their own mark on the world.  This award highlights that when communities, companies, governments and families work together to truly generate shared value, that everything is possible,” said Jay Kimmelman, CEO and Co-Founder of Bridge International Academies.

Bridge International Academies has now expanded its educational services beyond Africa to India, opening four high quality, vibrant community schools with 485 pupils. These were set up with physical infrastructure support from the local government.  The parents in this region using Bridge schools are mostly agricultural labourers and daily wage earners living on an income of INR 8000 a month.  Bridge follows the national curricular framework and adheres to the Andhra Pradesh syllabus. Bridge’s social enterprise approach, not only provides education to low income students, but also recruits and trains teachers and managers from the neighbourhoods it serves.  Although Bridge has only been in India for a short time, the early indicators have been very positive.

“At this critical transition in the national and global economy, Global Action Platform is honored to work with KPMG International in the creation of this ongoing shared value initiative and Award,” states Dr. Scott T. Massey, Founding Chairman and CEO.  “Our international alliance of universities and businesses are working to create scalable, sustainable solutions for abundant food, health, and prosperity for every person.  We see this new partnership as an important way to advance these goals.  KPMG brings tremendous thought leadership and analytics that can deepen our understanding of shared value and help us expand its impact.”

“KPMG International is excited to be working with the Global Action Platform to recognize excellence in creating shared value. Business has a critical role to play, in partnership with civil society, governments and the development community in working towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Creating shared value, which is good news for business and the community, is an essential way of building towards the achievement of the SDGs” said Timothy A.A. Stiles, Global Chair of International Development Assistance Services, KPMG.

The Shared Value Award will be presented annually at the Global Abundance Dinner, which serves as the closing ceremony of the Global Action Summit.  This year’s Summit takes place 14-15th November 2016 in Nashville and will be hosted by Fareed Zakaria (CNN) for an audience of 500 global leaders and live streamed to a global audience.

About the author: Scott T. Massey, PhD, Chairman and CEO, CumberlandCenter, is a national leader in innovation, economic development and strategy with extensive experience with regions and universities. Massey has founded and led major institutions, led regional economic strategy, developed innovation metrics, and worked with universities on tech transfer and commercialization. He is the Founder and CEO of the Global Action Platform.

Editor’s Note: Diplomatic Courier is a media and publishing partner to the Global Action Platform.