July-August 2017
World Business Council
for Sustainable Development
Welcome to the July-August 2017 edition of the Social Impact newsletter, WBCSD's monthly digest of work program updates, opinions, case studies and news on the role of business in fueling inclusive growth.

We look forward to hearing from you if you have any comments or questions on this newsletter or more generally on the WBCSD's work. For up to date information on our activities, we encourage you to view our News & Insights page, connect to the Inclusive Business blog RSS feed, and Twitter @WBCSD.
News from WBCSD

Advancing human rights due diligence & disclosure: WBCSD workshop series


Over the past few months, WBCSD has convened three workshops on the topic of business and human rights. The workshops, which took place in London, Johannesburg, and New York City, were facilitated by Shift and most notably looked into exploring best practice in terms of human rights due diligence and integration; outlining how the UNGP Reporting Framework can be used as a key management and reporting tool; and highlighting connections between operationalizing the UNGPs and contributing to the broader Sustainable Development Goals agenda. The next workshop is taking place on September 25 in Delhi, India. Interested WBCSD members are welcome to contact James Gomme, Manager, Social Impact, at gomme@wbcsd.org

Social Capital Protocol: Making companies that truly value people more successful
The Social Capital Protocol aims to mainstream the measurement of social impacts for business - shifting the improvement of social performance from an optional extra to a core part of business decision making. The Protocol serves two purposes: as a consistent process to guide companies through the journey of measuring, valuing and better managing social capital; and as a framework for collaboration to move towards standardized approaches for business. The Protocol is based on inputs from over 50 WBCSD member companies, an advisory group of 20 expert partners, and four WBCSD Global Network partners.
Informing and inspiring inclusive business action: New WBCSD blog
People living at the base of the pyramid represent more than half of all consumer spending in developing and emerging markets. This is an untapped, US$5 trillion market. Check out the new WBCSD blog in which Davide Fiedler, Manager, Social Impact, shares the latest thinking and highlighting innovative inclusive business solutions that create competitive advantage, encourage innovation, strengthen and secure supply chains, create jobs, and strengthen the license to operate.
New report highlights the need for companies to prioritize water and sanitation across global supply chains
A new report, jointly commissioned by WBCSD, WaterAid and the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, uncovers key areas where businesses can drive substantial progress on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) across supply chains. The report advocates that WASH is an immense untapped opportunity for business. By implementing WASH, companies can help increase productivity, cut costs, and contribute to water stewardship.
Nominate your candidates for the 2018 WBCSD Leadership Program: “Communicating sustainable development and reporting to stakeholders”
The WBCSD Leadership Program aims to scale up sustainability and leadership through education. In partnership with Yale University, the 2018 program will focus on how to better communicate issues related to sustainable development as well as issues related to social, natural and financial capital while highlighting the value of sustainability reporting, to both internal and external stakeholders. Deadline for applications by WBCSD members is October 30, 2017.
Social Impact news from around the world

Competing on social purpose

Harvard Business Review, September-October 2017 – Consumers increasingly expect brands to have a social purpose beyond mere functional benefits. As a result, companies are taking social stands in very visible ways. Such programs can benefit society and the brand, but they may fizzle or actually harm the company if they're not carefully managed. Marketing professors Vila and Bharadwaj have developed an approach they call "competing on social purpose," which ties a brand's most ambitious social aspirations to its most pressing growth needs. An effective strategy creates value by strengthening a brand's key attributes or building new adjacencies. At the same time, it mitigates the risk of negative associations and threats to stakeholder acceptance. In order to create value for all stakeholders--customers, the company, shareholders, and society at large--managers must integrate considered acts of generosity with the strategic pursuit of brand goals.


How companies can lead fight against $150 billion human trafficking trade

Dr. Bob Eccles, an expert on integrated reporting, sustainability and the role of business in society, argues that “like climate change, the issue of human trafficking is only going to grow in importance as people learn more about it. Companies have a central role to play in eliminating this heinous practice since without their explicit support or - more typically - their knowing or unknowing tolerance, there would be no market for it.” In his view, “for companies to do this, the executive team on down needs the support of the board. This can be done through a simple, annual on-page Statement of Significant Audiences and Materiality, in which the board identifies whether or not it believes human trafficking is a material issue for the company. A single sentence will do. This seems like a pretty modest request to combat a practice which demeans us all.”


Creation of a “Global Commission on the Future of Work”

The Commission will produce an independent report on how to achieve a future of work that provides decent and sustainable work opportunities for all. This report will be submitted to the centenary session of the International Labor Conference in 2019. The work of the Commission will be organized around four clusters: work and society; decent jobs for all; the organization of work and production; the governance of work. The Commission will be serviced technically and operationally by the International Labor Organization (ILO), and chaired by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President Mauritius, and Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden.

Filippo Veglio
Managing Director, Social Capital