Opinion: Responsible and Sustainable International Business

From 'people in economic chains' to 'fellow human beings in value(s) chains

The Responsible and Sustainable International Business initiative bill is stirring up emotions, and thus tongues, in places like the House of Representatives. It involves a substantial change in our understanding of what a company actually is and what rights and obligations that entails.

The core of the law is based on the perspective of compassionate enterprise. This involves what companies should do from a perspective of responsible and sustainable international business and why they do it, but also what companies stand for. What is their identity, what are their values and how do they want to deal with the needs, interests, rights and well-being of people and of the environment?

Professor Harry Hummels, Professor of Ethics, Organizations and Society, emphasizes the importance of dialogue about this with stakeholders. In one of his latest papers, People in Chains, he aims to start a movement from "people in economic chains" to "fellow people in value(s) chains.

Read the paper (in Dutch) here

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