Shared value delivers social and economic benefits for Australia
The Shared Value Project and Social Ventures Australia present the findings from the inaugural ‘State of Shared Value in Australia’ survey. This first ever survey targeted a combination of ASX 100 companies and organisations with a demonstrable experience or interest in creating shared value to develop a baseline understanding of the current state of shared value in Australia.
There are an increasing number of companies creating shared value through different strategies across Australia but no central database that pulls together all of these examples or any way for organisations to learn from each other’s experiences.
The main purpose of this survey was to understand the current state of shared value activities across leading companies in Australia. The survey targeted senior management (CEOs, and executives of Corporate Affairs, Strategy, and Corporate Responsibility) of ASX 100 companies and those with a demonstrable experience or interest in creating shared value to find out what social approaches or strategies are being implemented, what social issues are being addressed, at what level companies are aware of or are enacting upon the shared value concept, and the business and social results that they are achieving.
More specifically, the survey set out to build an understanding across five broad areas:
- What do companies understand by shared value?
- What sort of impact are companies having?
- Why do companies bother?
- What are the main challenges companies encounter?
- What support do companies need to optimise their efforts?
This survey is a collaboration between the Shared Value Project and Social Ventures Australia, with media partner AFR BOSS.
From the responses to the survey, five key findings were highlighted:
1. If we consider shared value as an approach that leads to both economic and social or environmental outcomes then many of those companies who did not describe their strategy as shared value are in fact delivering strategies that create shared value – this raises the question of how important it is to have a shared vocabulary.
2. There is no clear pattern between the sector where a company operates and the social issues it chooses to address – many interventions appear to address multiple social issues that are designed to be of benefit to society. The survey, however, did not ask about the magnitude of the impact.
3. Internal perceptions of what is meant by shared value and why it’s worth the effort, aligning it with the broader strategy of the organisation and the difficulty of measuring its impact were all identified as being major challenges to a company focusing on creating shared value.
4. In spite of the challenges, companies pursuing shared value strategies are experiencing social and economic benefits as well as positive brand associations both internally from their staff as well as from external stakeholders.
5. Shared value is still in its infancy in Australia so all players need to continue to share their experiences and communicate with each other so we can embed the approach in more companies and optimise its potential impact. The Shared Value Project is ready to provide the platform to make this possible.
The survey report features six case studies from Australian companies to showcase examples of shared value in practice. These case studies were selected based on the responses submitted by companies to the survey:
Events and Activities
The 2015 ‘State of Shared Value in Australia’ survey report was publically released on Friday 14 August with a panel discussion in Sydney hosted by NAB with media partner AFR BOSS at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.