Stakeholders, Davos and the World Economic Forum

January 25, 2022

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has been in the news lately as we learned that the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, scheduled for 17-21 January, went from in-person to virtual. For many years Davos has been a meeting where heads of state and government, corporate CEOs, representatives of civil society and the media get together to discuss the WEF concerns.

Included on the agenda is discussion of ways and means for environmental sustainability. While some may object to Davos for various reasons, corporations and businesses are increasingly in agreement with their environmental concerns and are taking steps to protect and preserve the environment. This is indeed a great advancement forward. The environment has become a stakeholder.

We also appreciate the WEF discussions of who are the stakeholders in a business that is to be considered successful. No longer is profit the one and only measure of success in a corporation. In a sense, if it is authentic and not just a marketing effort, considering the environment, the employees, the community and the clients as having a stake in the decisions of a corporation is very exciting progress!

AMS has been ‘on this page’ for years. Several years ago the company gained B Corporation certification and shortly thereafter became a certified Social Enterprise. Our commitment to “Being the Change” is real, and we are convinced that this is the way of the future – it is the growing up of humanity.

Not that long ago toxic waste and pollutants were shrugged off as the cost of doing business, labor was exploited and discrimination was commonplace. The world is changing, and one can only attribute it to the human being realizing that the Earth is my Home, and the ‘Other’ is my Brother.   

The benefit corporation movement started in 2006 with B Lab. B Lab was simply three friends who shared the same vision, of business as a force for good. The first 82 Certified B Corporations were certified in 2007. We don’t know if the WEF was discussing stakeholder capitalism back then, but we do know that those three people who envisioned being the change, have definitely started something good. We can look to history and be very grateful for the changes we see.

A recent article at bthechange dot com asks how to know whether a company is really purposeful, or just marketing that way. The article points out that B Corp is a legal structure that has requirements that companies are obliged to uphold, so the question would be… are you a B Corporation?

“More than 10,000 companies worldwide have signed on to a legal structure known as the benefit corporation that incorporates creating value for all stakeholders, including workers, consumers, the environment, and community. These businesses are executing on their mission and values while overturning the concept of shareholder primacy — which prioritizes profits, even when derived from behaviors that create inequality, environmental damage, and social fragmentation.”

What was on the Davos agenda this year? Since the event itself was cancelled, and the meeting was held virtually, we see that they have discussed equitable vaccine R&D and manufacturing; clean energy, new tech, and navigating change; and Omicron and Covid 19. These are the pressuring issues at this time and we hope the discussions went well.

Please visit the AMS Fulfillment blog for numerous articles about the efforts of our Green Team; on-campus college-level education for employees, plus ESL; our passion for employee safety; our hiring practices and DE&I focus, and so much more.