An age of responsibility for businesses

26th September 2018

ENGIE’s global CEO Isabelle Kocher has signalled a fundamental trend in the way that companies operate, with a stronger focus on responsibilities that go beyond the traditional business drivers to encompass a far wider spectrum of stakeholders.

Writing on LinkedIn, she argues that companies will increasingly be judged by their overall impact on society and the environment. “Many other groups are affected by a company's decisions: employees, customers, the communities in which they are located. In a sector such as energy, responsible for 60% of CO2 emissions, it is even humanity as a whole that ends up suffering the consequences of these choices,”

I believe that the fortress company model, deaf to the expectations of its wider environment, is doomed to disappear under the pressure exerted by four figures: the consumer, the employee, the regulator and the investor,” she continues.

Noting the importance of environmental and climate risks, she suggests that an economic sector, designated ‘social business’ is developing around the insight that companies must have a mission that goes far beyond profit creation.

I am convinced that the future of companies, of all companies, and not just those in the social and solidarity sector, lies in reconciling economic performance with social and environmental sustainability; that only companies that focus on repairing the rifts in our world will grow in the long term,” Isabelle suggests.

It is this conviction that has led ENGIE to make a number of crucial choices that will shape the company’s future development and have a positive impact on its staff, customers and the communities where ENGIE operates.

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