World-leading organisations have joined experts in the fields of human capital, sustainability and occupational safety and health in signing a new commitment to position the safety, health and wellbeing of people at the centre of the sustainable business agenda.
It came at a major summit in Paris yesterday (Wednesday, April 3) at which attendees were told the investment community is increasingly requiring companies to demonstrate in reports that the safe, sustainable management of their staff and contractors is a core strategic goal.
Google, Nike, L’Oreal, BNP Paribas, Hermes and AP Moller-Maersk were among companies represented for the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability’s (CSHS) Human Capital Project – Global Summit: Putting people back into sutainability, at L’Oreal’s Aulnay Campus. Joining them were investors and leading thinkers in human capital, sustainability and occupational safety, health and wellbeing.
Around 80 delegates heard that many companies, including listed firms, were not treating the sustainable management of their people as their priority. Too few are reporting to shareholders on non-financial metrics, including the safety, health and wellbeing of their employees. There are often discrepancies between the safety standards of a business’s staff and its supply chain of contractors.
With global trends such as a worldwide shortage of workers, an ageing workforce and rapid changes in work practices and technology, investors are increasingly examining a company’s management of its people before investing, the summit was told.
CSHS joined delegates in signing a commitment to ‘put people back into sustainability’. “This commitment is a call to action to business, that safety and health is integral to sustainable business performance,” said CSHS Chair Kathy Seabrook. “And this means businesses must measure, evaluate and publicly report their performance on safety and health.”
Organised by CSHS co-founder the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in collaboration with CSHS, the summit was the fourth in a series of events aimed at highlighting the role occupational safety and health plays in sustainability and the management of human capital.
IOSH CEO Bev Messinger said: “We ran this human capital summit because we want more people, employers, policy-makers, investors and professionals to recognise that good health and safety protects human capital, creates social value and is the foundation of a sustainable future.
“Sustainability is based on people – governments and organisations of all sizes and sectors rely on well-trained and equipped people, their human capital, to deliver environmental and financial sustainability.
“enterprises that nurture and protect their people, creating social value, are better placed to become sustainable organisations within sustainable communities.”
CSHS, whose member organizations represent more than 100,000 workplace safety and health professionals around the world, is helping to push forward a new global protocol that aims to improve the measurement and value of human capital in corporate decision making and government policy. The protocol is driven by the Social and Human Capital Coalition (SHCC).
“Very seldomly do companies talk the sustainability of their people, and from our perspective, this needs to change. It must be the future,” said L’Oreal Corporate Health and Safety Director Malc Staves. “It must be about people, people, people. We all have the right to work safely but even for some listed companies, they are really not caring enough for the people who work for them.”