1st Edition

The Company Citizen Good for Business, Planet, Nation and Community

By Tom Levitt Copyright 2018
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    Business doing good is doing good business; this book learns from the era where governments ruled the world, pre-globalisation, and where business looked after itself, where issues like climate change, resource depletion and even poverty and hunger were not thought to be the responsibility of business.

    The Company Citizen concludes that not only are these key issues for business today but that the world will not be able to manage these issues without the active participation - even leadership - of business. Aware of the shortcomings of both government and civil society the author argues that environmental sustainability, economic and social inclusion and the better management of resources are all key issues for business and that it makes good business sense to manage them better. This book examines the case for the company citizen on a global, national and community level working alongside other. Never has the conscientious company citizen, as envisaged by 19th century Quaker philanthropists, been more needed; and never has that business case, one that justifies a long-term commitment to practical corporate behaviour for good, been more clear.

    Drawing attention both to the businesses that are taking the lead and those who are holding us back, the author concludes that only by involving business can we tackle the great issues of the day - and survive, as communities, nation and planet.

    Dedication, List of Figures and Tables, References, Author Biography, Preface, Abbreviations, Acknowledgements, 1 The Case for Company Citizenship, The Moral Case, The Political Case, The Business Case, The Internal Duty - to Owner and Market, The External Duty - to Taxpayers and Stakeholders, The Global Duty - to Communities and the Future, 2 The World is Ready, Food and Hunger, Climate Change, Water, War, Migration, and Refugees, Other Global Issues, Brexit, 3 Britain is Ready, Inequality, Poverty in Britain, Self Employment, Foodbanks, Public Services, Outsourcing, 4 Business is Ready, Purpose, Values and Mission, The Circular Economy, The Inclusive Economy, Getting Away with It, 5 Stakeholders are Ready, The Shareholder, The Investor, The Customer, The Workforce, Employee Ownership, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’, 6 The Supply Chain is Ready, Modern Slavery, Bribery and Corruption, Human Rights, Employment Rights, Prompt Payment, Resource Issues, 7 Communities are Ready, Jobs and Skills, Local Sourcing, The Social Value Act, The People, Engaging with the Community, Cash & Kind, Time & Talent, Head & Heart, Health, Measuring the Difference, 8 The Future is Ready, Agg and Frag, Going Forward - Sustainability, Going Forward - Growing Markets, Going Forward - Responsibility, Or a Power for Ill? Take-Away: A Company Citizenship Code, Bibliography, Index


    Tom Levitt is a writer and consultant on ‘using the tools of business to create public good’ and a former Member of Parliament. He is a science graduate, former school teacher and a serial charity chair, with extensive experience of working in community and international development. In 2011, Tom was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Derby.

    "The challenges of our modern world, and the need for an effective new social contract are well documented. In this timely and interesting book, Tom Levitt brings practical knowledge, and credible policy solutions to the question of business, and make a compelling case about the potential of business to help us all change the world, and our economy, for the better. What is more he articulates a clear duty for business to play its full role as corporate citizen - a hugely important and resonant message for our times." Julia Unwin, Chair, Independent Inquiry into the Future of the Civil Society.

    "With £275b of fines from misconduct being paid by the banks so far since the financial crisis and trust in business generally having fallen sharply, Tom Levitt argues that it is high time that firms start thinking of themselves as ‘company citizens’ with a duty to contribute to the well-being of the wider economy. This means assuming responsibility for the environment in which they operate, avoiding excessive pay for senior executives, treating their employees and customers with fairness and dignity and paying appropriate amounts of tax while not being scared to take a stance against injustice. The win is an improvement in business reputation and longer term business sustainability. It really is as simple as that. But as this book demonstrates it requires a new mindset for it to work." - Vicky Pryce, founder of GoodCorporation and former UK government economic adviser.

    "In his latest book Tom Levitt weaves together a tapestry from a variety of sources and analysis of global trends to argue for company citizenship, a concept which reaches beyond company social responsibility and corporate philanthropy. This concept offers an exciting potential to resolve some of the long standing criticisms of capitalism and provides a new paradigm for business to engage positively with society." Professor Alex Murdock, London South Bank University.

    "A compelling account of how – and why – business has to be at the centre of addressing today’s most urgent and far-reaching issues. A book, and a theme, whose time has come. Never has the case for business to step up and help solve society’s challenges been greater. And rarely has it been better put than in this excellent account". - Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever