By Kaye Wiggins , Third Sector Online, 4 October 2011 Rory Stewart <a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/tso.main/news/article;di=2223;p-di=0;pdi=0;auth=false;cid=1096747;cjc=tsn;loc=;nt=1;sc=2000;kw=social,value,mean,councils,supporting,local,charities,says,tory,mp,;p-dl=;p-cat=;p-scat=;p-mf=;lang=en-gb;tile=1;adloc=c501;sz=1x1;ord=1364800518?"
by Valerie Bockstette | 8:16 AM November 16, 2011 Too often companies approach their engagement with social and environmental issues with a safety net mentality: reacting to vocal stakeholders, minimizing risk, doing the bare minimum to comply with standards, and at best, striving for footprint reduction rather than ecological value creation. This approach is nowhere near enough to tackle the pressing problems we all face — water scarcity, low quality education systems, an aging population in some parts of the world, a rapidly growing one in others, and so on. Indeed, I see some of our most vexing societal problems as opportunities for the private sector. But these are opportunities that can only be seized through a different approach: a trampoline approach.
The capitalist system is under siege. In recent years business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems. Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community. Even worse, the more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society’s failures. The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history. This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth.