Towards a Better and More Responsible World

The responsible business has come up in the debate more and more. Last August, executives at large U.S. corporations declared that the company's sole purpose should not be maximizing shareholder profits but creating value for all of its stakeholders and thinking more broadly about their societal role.

Katri Koivula, 03.04.2020

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The media giant Financial Times followed immediately; they called for remedial action on the capitalist economic system. At the beginning of the year, the CEO of the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock, also joined the group, saying that the financial sector is on the verge of a fundamental change. Responsibility, including responding to climate change, will shift investments. Big money had spoken.

Responsibility, including responding to climate change, will shift investments. Big money has spoken."

In Finland, too, the debate on responsibility and the purpose of companies is trending, and responsibility has become an increasingly important value in the operations of Finnish companies. As many as 65% of the respondents in the Large Enterprise Survey (2019) conducted by Aalto University researchers and OP Financial Group believe that mitigating climate change offers business opportunities. 56% see that it is the company's job to be involved in solving burning societal problems. The pressure for genuine responsibility comes from investors, customers, civil society, as well as current and future employees.

Currently, the coronavirus challenges societies and companies to act responsibly in the most drastic way possible. The pandemic has caused severe disruption to business and is destroying a lot: people are being laid off, the threat of bankruptcy is rising for many companies, and some businesses are collapsing. The crisis also draws attention to injustice. Not everyone is equal in the labor market, not to talk about global supply chains or even small entrepreneurs whose only livelihood depends on the movement of people. For the poorest, isolation at home is not possible.

The shock has also caused positive phenomena: community spirit and humanity have increased, creativity has emerged in many ways, urban air quality has improved, and teleworking and teleconferencing have become a new norm, which may permanently reduce travel. Things can also be done differently, more sustainably.

Your partner in developing responsibility

After the corona – and also during the corona – the business world is redirected towards a sustainable or, at worst, unsustainable direction. Now, companies' good intentions for responsibility are being tested in practice: how to reconcile short-term needs to survive and remain competitive with long-term sustainable growth? What role can the business world play in overcoming and recovering from the crisis regarding society as a whole?

Things can also be done differently, more sustainably."

At Aalto EE, we support companies and organizations in promoting sustainability by offering our customers strong expertise in developing responsibility and sustainable business models throughout the organization.

We are constantly redesigning our program portfolio and the contents of our programs. The responsibility theme is integrated into our programs throughout the whole portfolio. For example, in the renewed Aalto MBA program, the responsibility perspective is part of the entire program, which deepens participants' understanding of the role of responsibility and sustainable development in business and how these affect strategy work, decision-making, and value creation.

In addition, as an organization, we also pay attention to our responsibility and develop our operations and processes, as well as train our staff. A better world through better (and responsible) leadership is our mission.

Let's take care of each other!

Katri Koivula

Associate Director, Aalto EE

Aalto EE's Strategic Sustainability for Business program integrates sustainability with the business strategy. The program is executed in co-operation with UC Berkeley Executive Education. Read more about the program.

The corporate social responsibility theme is also strongly integrated into the Aalto MBA program

Aalto PRO has a program that enables to turn the responsible business into a strategic tool for improving a company's competitive edge. "Kilpailuetua vastuullisuudesta" program is held in Finnish. Read more about the program.

Currently reading: Aalto Leaders' Insight: Towards a Better and More Responsible World

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