There are many different aspects when it comes to a stable fundament of a society. We are talking here about economic growth, welfare, education, and so on. Additionally, essential is peace, good governance, and rule of law as well. This is a critical point in quite some countries though, and therefore taken up in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Companies can help getting rid of this matter. How, you ask me? There are multiple methods on different levels.
Let’s take a look at corporations on a micro level. Altering their principles of relationships and organizations to ones with sustainability, businesses create greater transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. Multiple corporations have addressed issues relating this SDG, resulting in ensuring the long-term financial performance of the business, and play an important role in supporting peace and development.
Then we still got the contribution on a macro level. They can do this by, for example, committing to an institution of the UN, called UN Global Compact. Together, they come to collective action and have developed useful resources, established innovative partnerships and ultimately fought against the injustice that is happening in this world.
A good example of a company working with integrity and anti-corruption policies, is Coca Cola. They trade in accordance with the Code of Business Conduct and Anti-Bribery Policy that provide guidance on how to conduct business in a fair, ethical and legal manner. Their anti-corruption compliance program encompasses numerous reporting, monitoring and certification controls, as well as an education component comprising both web-based and in-person training.
Another company worth mentioning is Telenor, working in telecommunications. Just as Coca Cola, they set up an anti-corruption program. The program includes several elements working together: proportionate procedures, top level commitment, risk assessment, integrity due diligence, communication and training, monitoring and review, and enforcement and sanctions. The Group Anti‐Corruption Policy and the effectiveness of the anti‐corruption program are assessed and revised on a regular basis, with the aim of continuous improvement and alignment with prevailing international standards.
Despite having contributed to solving this complex problem, the private sector needs to undertake more. All of us should. We have the privilege of living in a country where the rule of law is something regarded normal. Peace is nothing irregular. That is exactly the reason why we are called to order. With these amazing rights in mind, we should fight for other societies in the world to achieve the same, for other people to live in a peaceful manner. Small and large companies, individuals, governments, we can come together and ensure one of the most fundamental goals of the UN: peace. All that is done, is essential and needs to be continued.
Of course, governments play a key role in these governance issues. However, let us not forget that the private sector can influence so much nowadays and when an economy is based on such corporations, they have a responsibility to create justice, to create peace. I personally believe that companies can create a safe environment where justice is implemented according with the aspects the rule of law is based on. Not only can they change their own policy and take away power from corruptive powers, but by investing in sustainable ways of trading, they boost their own economic growth as well. Ultimately, we are in a win-win situation! This is why we need to show the private sector all the power that lay in their hands!
To conclude, so much can be done to help those who do not have the same privileges we do. Not only should we continue dealing with hunger, poverty, and other Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, but we should also take a look at what is necessary for the long-term goals. What is needed, is a stable basis to create all of these ambitions, and this is only possible in a safe environment where people are not afraid of their government. At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that how we want to grow up, learn, and establish our future? Peace is and always will be a necessity for our everyday lives. The time to take action is now. All corporations unite and fight!