The axioms by which companies have done business for the past 50 years have been upended by the pandemic. In this month's issue of the magazine we look at whether developments like the remote working revolution will help or hinder companies as they seek to get onto a more sustainable path

Covid-19 has caused companies to have to bring in huge changes to how they operate, literally overnight. But how much of these changes will be short-lived, and to what extent will the virus be a catalyst for systemic change that will allow companies to not only build back better, but build forward better for a more sustainable business future?

It’s a burning question that we explore in this month’s briefing on the future of work in The Ethical Corporation magazine.

We start with Mike Scott’s assessment of the remote working revolution, and how the axioms by which companies have been doing business for the last 50 years have been upended by Covid-19, as have the desired skillsets. While prior to Covid 19, C-suite members were emphasising the need for technical skills like cybersecurity, data science and coding, the primary skill requirement today is now adaptability.

Caroline Palmer, meanwhile, looks at how companies have been turning to technology like wearables to help take care of their remote workforce’s health and welfare, but are running into privacy concerns.

(Credit: Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Looking beyond companies’ own four walls, Oliver Balch reports on how the pandemic and advances in digitisation have accelerated the move by many towards more planet- and people-friendly procurement practices that will outlive the immediate crisis.

Mark Hillsdon zeros in on renewable energy procurement, writing about how RE100 members like Google, Iron Mountain, Clif Bar, Chanel and Novo Nordisk are amplifying their impact by focusing on social and environmental co-benefits in clean energy purchasing.

And with the increasing awareness of the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black and immigrant communities in North America and Europe, James Richens looks at the companies that are extending their diversity and inclusion initiatives to increase resilience in their supply chains.

Helen Chan and Julie DiMauro of Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence, meanwhile, look at how US companies are responding to investor and consumer pressure to promote race relations in their own operations. This is for solid business as well as social equity reasons, with McKinsey data from 2019 showing that boards that have racial and ethnic diversity perform better, with top-quartile companies 36% more profitable than those in the fourth quartile.

And I report on how UK companies are being told to walk the talk on bringing gender and ethnic diversity to boards, particularly in the finance sector.

We hope you find this month’s issue a thought-provoking read. Next month, we will be looking at the companies that are leading on water risk, an overlooked subject that is becoming of increasingly critical importance in a rapidly warming world.

To download the digital pdf of the October magazine for free click on the cover below.



health and welfare  human resources  digital privacy  SDGs  climate 

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