Consumers are overloaded with choice in the market and have been shown to lean towards sustainable and socially responsible businesses. Leading global brands have actioned the consumer sentiment surrounding businesses being more than just profit-making, to introduce protocols and behaviours to have a genuinely positive impact on people and the environment.
Shared value, created by Michael R. Porter and Mark E. Kramer, suggests that corporate success along with social and environmental conditions are inextricably linked and therefore the success of one should, in turn, result in the strengthening of the other.
Supporting large corporations that aspire to participate in shared value removes a barrier to entry for these companies and encourages action.
In order to create a shared value partnership, the corporate is required to pivot its business model to ensure that social change can be achieved. This shared value partnership is created in three ways.
1. Creating new products and services for new or existing markets which better services societal needs.
2. Redefining productivity in its value chain. This might be done by utilising its resources, energy, employees or suppliers differently in order to generate a social benefit.
3. Enabling local cluster development, by improving the local operating environment by supporting skill development and capacity building.
Case study: global engineering company creates shared value with disability job provider
In 2019, Apricot Consulting initiated a shared value program on behalf of the Aurecon group. Financed by the Aurecon group, Apricot Consulting brought together Ability Works, a disability job provider, Transurban and RMIT Business School. Ability Works staff, with the required upskilling and resourcing, were integrated into the Transurban supply chain, providing e–Tags for the organisation.
Aurecon was also able to access consulting advice on disability access design engineering. With RMIT providing research support and marketing consultation, Apricot consulting provided program management, ongoing governance and the competency framework that ensured the success of the program. The program continues to yield great returns for all parties involved in the partnership.