There is growing consensus over the principle by which private sector companies have a responsibility and interest in promoting more sustainable and inclusive economic models. But how is the situation in the field? CAC 40 companies are effectively investing the resources to deliver on their commitments to sustainable development and the fight against poverty and exclusion via social business initiatives.
Going beyond Corporate Social Responsibility
The COP21 “Lima-Paris Action Agenda”, which lists, among other initiatives, the climate projects led by companies, and the importance given to the private sector when the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the UN last September, are both signs that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is now well established. One of the approaches to this responsibility has taken the form of the implementation of social business initiatives, i.e. economic activities whose objective is not to maximize profits, but to provide a response to a societal need. Beyond CSR policies, it involves developing innovative economic models which contribute to changing companies from the inside, their modus operandi, and the very way of doing business.
The survey “CAC 40 Companies and Social Business”, published by Convergences in 2015, focuses on 14 companies which are developing this type of initiative. The results of this first assessment highlight the wide diversity of social business projects led by CAC 40 companies. The study points out the development potential that can be exploited in both the companies which have already taken this path and those which have not yet ventured into the ecosystem of social business.