From wildfires in Australia to a global pandemic that has crippled entire economies, there’s probably little else about 2020 that would surprise us. Whilst these events have brought much devastation, they have also enabled many of us to reflect on how we can make change for the better and grow from these challenges. A recurring theme at Arowana’s recent quarterly Circle of Leadership (COL) was that it is often in times of crisis when opportunities to evoke real change can occur.
Like everyone else around the world, the team at Arowana have been reflecting on how we can play our part for society and the planet. Besides taking stock of the current situation and making plans, there is one important matter that is at the forefront of our minds: sustainable business operations.
For too long, businesses have operated in an unsustainable manner with little regard for social or environmental impacts. While the objective of any business is to earn a profit, doing so at the expense of people and the environment is unacceptable.
We have long believed that positive change should start from within. Therefore, we have chosen to commit to the UN Global Compact. The UN Global Compact consists of ten principles that address human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption. Adhering to these ten principles is a crucial part of corporate sustainability―something all organisations should aspire to.
Here are the four reasons why we have chosen to support the UN Global Compact.
1. To take a stand against human rights violations and abuse of labour
In his letter to Thomas Mercer, the philosopher Edmund Burke states: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Human rights violations are one of the biggest problems in the world today. All too often, unscrupulous companies ignore or even perpetuate the abuse of human rights for the sake of profit. However, we believe that the buck stops with us.
Under the UN Global Compact, internationally recognised human rights must be identified and always respected by every organisation and business entity. Along with this, businesses have a duty to ensure that they themselves are not complicit in human rights violations.
Taking this stand sends a clear message to our organisation as a whole and our respective stakeholders―Arowana will not tolerate any abuse or violation of human rights.
2. As a means of fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace
Arowana has always been an equal opportunity employer that respects employees of all backgrounds. Confirming our support for the UN Global Compact further showcases our position as a diverse and inclusive workplace.
Additionally, harassment or abuse of any kind is not tolerated at Arowana, and employees receive regular training on appropriate workplace conduct. By implementing these practices, we hope to help eliminate discrimination based on race, gender, and other unprofessional behaviours in the workplace.
3. In order to protect and conserve the environment
“Sustainable business management” is not just another management term. It instead represents the key to the future. Years of exploitation and neglect have resulted in a polluted environment and a world that is overly reliant on finite resources. This is why it is more important than ever for businesses to practice sustainable development. Working in harmony with the environment by reducing our carbon footprint and promoting green technologies are ways to ensure that we leave the next generation a world far better than the one we inherited.
4. To stamp out corruption
Corruption in any form is and will always be damaging to a business. From the erosion of investor trust to business scandals, eliminating corruption should always be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. At Arowana, we uphold trust and integrity as key pillars of our business. With stringent audit checks and regular conflict-of-interest assessments in place, we take a zero-tolerance stand on corruption. Besides ensuring our compliance with the ten principles of the UN Global Compact, we will be able to inspire confidence in our stakeholders―something especially important to us―given the nature of our business. As the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated, sustainable business practices where social and environmental factors are prioritised is the right way forward. Upholding sustainable business practice will not only enable us to contribute towards the bigger picture, but also ensure that we have a better world within which to operate.