“Business Call to Action” to achieve Sustainable Development Goals

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Enterprises want to open the huge underserved market of potential customers, – people with low incomes. To this end, businesses develop new business models reflecting customers, employees, suppliers respectively all affected stakeholders in their value chains. The concurrent inclusion of “poor people” in value-added chains dramatically improve their access to goods, services and income, and their situation. The goal is that companies contribute achieving the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The United Nations program “Business Call to Action” supports enterprises in their application of “Inclusive Business Models” especially for developing and emerging countries, www.undp.org, www.businesscalltoaction.org

Roland Leithenmayr

Presentation: Bridge for Cities, Belt & Road Initiative: Developing Green Economies for Cities, 2nd BRI Event – unido.org, 26 to 28 September 2017, Vienna International Centre Vienna, Austria


CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) versus CSV (Creating Shared Value)

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CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) based on the Triple Bottom Line Approach (TBL: PPP – People, Planet, Profit) and CSV (Creating Shared Value) is the ability of organizations to create value for society. Critics argue that the creators of CSV, Porter & Kramer, have a very limited understanding of CSR. In the opinion of the author CSV should not be isolated from CSR but CSV  but considered as part of CSR, meaning that simultaneously to TBL, CSV shall be approached.

For corporations to achieve CSV they shall service all markets including developing and emerging markets, accessing new markets through new products and services; improving production-, and service systems including logistic, – all to meet social needs. For governments to achieve CSV they shall provide the proper framework like rules of law, security and infrastructure to the society, corporations and NGOs. For NGOs to achieve CSV the shall provide activitities: meeting the needs of the poor peoples and refugees; activities to improve health, familiy planning and education; in self-help projects where local people are involved; to help people to develop a clearer understanding of social, political and economic factors affecting their lives; in cooperation with companies; as facilitators achieving an maximum involvement of the beneficiaries.

Triple Bottom Line -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_bottom_line

Creating Shared Value ->https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creating_shared_value

NGO -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-governmental_organization

Author: Roland Leithenmayr, CSR Expert, VfV

We would appreciate to hear your opinion how NGOs could better achieve CSV.

Land Grabbing – Impact on Human Rights and Climate Change

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Koh-Keng-LianKoh Kheng Lian examines in her presentation and paper in the form of a trilogy the connections between Rule of Law, Human Rights and Human Security in a context of environmental changes and land grabbing. Although she trusts the Rule of Law is generally comprehended, she indicates that the consequences of environmental challenges on human rights and human security are still not fully apprehended. Her question and answer is how those three approaches work together: Or do they? Read more: kas_41976-1522-2-30 , see page 94.

Emeritus Professor Koh Kheng Lian is an established authority on environmental law. She is one of the founder members and the former, and currently honorary, director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL). – See more about her http://www.swhf.sg/the-inductees/17-environment-conservation/138-koh-kheng-lian#sthash.ezaEFSmE.dpuf

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Diabetes II: a silent killer!

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14. November 2015, World Diabetes Day (WHO)

Sugary drinks cause, – a new study of the TUFTS University -, more than 184 000 deaths per year all over the world, 


Top of the iceberg is Mexico with 405 deaths per million adults a year, while in the USA with 125 and in Germany with 49 deaths. About three-fourths of the deaths were in developing countries, because sugary drinks, – like Coca Cola -, are easier to get than fresh, good tasting drinking water or fresh milk, and a lot of advertising. The beverages in the study included sugar-sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sweetened iced teas and homemade sugary drinks.

The American Beverage Association (ABA) argument is that there is no correlation between sugary beverages, diabetes, and other health problems: But Dariush Mozaffarian, an author of the study and dean of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, says that’s not correct. The ABA said in their statement that “America’s beverage companies are doing their part to offer consumers the fact-based information and the beverage options they need to make the right choices for themselves and their families.” Governments in many countries are now taking appropriate measures, such as banning the sale of sweet drinks in the kindergarten and schools, tax on sugary drinks, to curb advertising, to decrease the consummation successful.

More facts about diabetes: http://www.facediabetes.at/zahlen-und-fakten.html

The Industry will continue their Global Economic Ethic when they offer such foods and drinks that will not cause any lasting illnesses, even after long-term consummation. By sugary drinks, the best result could be realized by replacing the industrial sugar and corn-syrup by sweeteners with anti-diabetic effects. In truth, such product is already existing, but  “…what will prevail in real life, is not the truth, but …the financial self-interest… and the power of multinational corporation ” (John Kenneth Galbraith, Die Ökonomie des unschuldigen Betrugs, Vom Realitätsverlust der heutigen Wirtschaft, page 18).

Although a proponent of capitalism, I am angry when large or multinational companies prevent,- because of their greediness -, innovations, patents or products offered by smaller businesses or startups which could solve many urgent societal problems.

As CSR expert, I prefer to apply it voluntarily, but often I ask myself whether more stringent regulations by the government are necessary. Philosophical, angry citizen (Wutbürger) should actively enforce their fight against the elites (i.e. large corporations and politics), but that’s another story.

The truth must prevail! If you want to support the development and application of sweeteners which prevent and combat diabetes 2, then use the contact form below.

Roland Leithenmayr, VfV

Quo vadis Austrian National Action Plan for CSR ?

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The Austrian Government has so far failed to formulate a National Action Plan – Corporate Social Responsibility (Nationalen Aktionsplan CSR – sustainable development) or the Author is not aware of it. For most EU member states such as Germany, there is an NAP CSR since five years. The reason is ideological: an influential group in Austria considers CSR as diabolical instruments of neo-liberalism. The author was among others (Gebhard Fidler und Richard Löffler) founder of the Working Group on CSR in the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber for more than 15 years.

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

We need three (3) Planets !

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Remember the lecture by Mr. Wolfgang Pekny, Footprint-Consult eU, at the meeting of CSD, October 8, 2013? He  warned that the generation of our children has a poorer prospect for the future than their parents: the scarcity of resources, climate change, hunger, financial crises, and refugee crisis are symptoms of the same phenomenon: the planet Earth has become too small for the economies and lifestyles of the “Global Consumer Class”. A good measure (but heavily criticized) is the “ecological footprint”: According to this we currently need three (3) planets! For more information:

German: http://www.footprint.at/index.php?id=6761

English: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/

Roland Leithenmayr

Human Capacity Building and the SDGs

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The Sustainable Development Goals contain 17 goals and 169 targets. Many criticize that the scope is too broad, lacking coherence, priorities and a clear time frame; however, all agree that the six thematic elements are essential: People, Planet, Partnership, Justice, Prosperity and Dignity. Compare to the Triple Bottom Line Approach: People, Planet, Profit (for all).

There are direct and indirect references to Human Capacity Building:

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls

Goal 8.5: By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for women and men, including for young people and humans with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value. Compare to the goal “Energy for All”.

Goal 8.6: By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.

(Source: Human capacity building and the SDGs, OFID Quarterly, April 2015)

Roland Leithenmayr VfV

Sustainability and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

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Sustainability and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) require holistic thinking, mental activity and a change in Paradigm. CSR shall be integrated continuously in any system such as an organization and institution. It is essential that the human (as stakeholder) shall be integrated in the system as well as around it by considering strongly moral and ethical values. Those values are fundamental for the development of sustainability principles (among others ethical standards and moral direction). The international Guidance Document ISO 26000 shall be used as criteria catalog as well as framework. Only humans can create Sustainability and not all those countless papers full with well-intended principles: Everybody is responsible to start “doing” instead to remain inactively. It is common that “One large meeting after the next is followed by inactivity” (Jeffry Sachs). The ISO 26000 as guideline will not advise minimum requirements, but formulates the main principles and key areas providing assistance for the implementation and communication of CSR. Additional to the guideline ISO 26000 the UN Global Compact as well the OECD demand cross-cultural ethical values and standards. To achieve sustainability the means of “Learning by Doing”, Agile Principles, Learning Organization and Learning Regions shall be applied; however, the impact of decisions and (global) activities shall be balanced between economic, social and ecological matters carefully, in particular reflecting the principle of humanity: “What you do not wish done to yourself, do not do to others”. This principle should be applied to the Universum including everything all around: animals, plants, ocean, – biodiversity.

Contrary to sustainability (the arrival), – which is a static condition -, “sustainable development” is a continuously dynamic undertaking (in the form of decisions and actions) to achieve the desirable sustainability. One of the steps to achieve the desired Sustainable Development is “Global Economic Ethic”. (Manifest Global Economic Ethic, Hans Küng, Klaus M. Leisinger, Josef Wieland, 2010).

There are many opportunities to end the scourge of war, poverty, hunger, decease, earth degradation, catastrophes, migration, unequal human rights, cultural and religious conflicts.  Besides failures in moral virtues, there are many problems in systems like institutions, organizations, and infrastructures. Instead of wasting money on wars and by shoddy practices (banks, corporations, politics), resources shall be provided to promote innovations to abolish those above stated negative facts. We need innovation to create sustainable products and services, sustainable consumption, environmental improvement, organizational processes and social behavior.

Business itself is a community of action, managers, linking employees, customers and suppliers; therefore, the business as moral actor shall contribute to the advancement of Sustainable Development global as well as local. The complexity of global production systems are stretching out across cultures, religious and political boundaries this means: laws are not enough and common values are vital. Politic is often too weak to fight against greed, fraud, corruption and self- aggrandizement, and so no legal provision can be implemented without any ethical standards.  But it is not just an issue of individual morality, but an issue of corporate morality and it concerns the global market economy as a whole. (Hans Küng, Global Economic Crises Requires a Global Ethic, The Manifesto Global Economic Ethic, page 167).

Sustainability and Sustainable Development, – as we perceive in Austria is unfortunately not guaranteed: inappropriate macro-economic politics; excessive speculation; inefficient functioning of the regulatory and supervisory system; an inadequate justice and education; lack of accountability and transparency; inadequate standards in financial reporting; casino capitalism and corruption; lack of truthfulness; trust and social responsibility; not enough money for development assistance; excessive greed of investors and institutions; falsified balance sheet and illegal manipulation of the markets; – all that we learn every day from the media.

The European Commission has been working since ten years with CSR (as a generic term of Sustainability) and adopted in 2011 a new framework and definition of CSR: the responsibility of organizations, institutions, businesses (and other systems) for their impacts on society. The EU Commission asked their members to develop their own National Action Plan for CSR. The purpose of these CSR NAP is to clarify which political framework is needed to promote the CSR Management Approach on a voluntary basis or required by laws and regulations. The Government, respectively the state should serve as a lighthouse respectively as model. The Austrian Federal Government has commissioned three Ministries to develop this National Action Plan for CSR. Unfortunately this CSR NAP so far has not been published and it is not clear how the Austrian Government wants to keep track to promote and guarantee CSR and Sustainability. So it is true that one large meeting after the next is followed by inactivity!

Roland Leithenmayr VfV