Businesses Must Protect Health and Safety in Absence of Mandates
Burkard Eberlein, Professor of Public Policy and Sustainability, and Maxim Voronov, Professor of Organization Studies and Sustainability, recently published an article in The Conversation titled Businesses have the responsibility to invest in health and safety when governments fail to.
“Protecting the health and safety of employees, customers and suppliers in the absence of government mandates is the very essence of corporate social responsibility,” said Eberlein. “Carrying out voluntary actions for social good is not easy…but that is the essence of corporate social responsibility — doing the right thing, even when it’s hard.”
The article mentions that it appears as though businesses found it easier to be socially responsible when there was a clear social consensus about COVID-19 and governments were willing to provide clear guidance. The professors believe that although health and safety issues have not been identified as a “business issue,” unlike forced labour or climate change, they should be.
“Business schools should lead by example by modelling best business practices and equipping future business leaders with the skills to tackle the issue of health and safety as a business responsibility — even beyond the current pandemic,” says Eberlein. “Speaking up and taking the lead on public health and safety will prove that the business world is ready and willing to take on other pressing issues, like climate change.”