A landmark survey of the ASX 100 by the Shared Value Project has uncovered new insights into the state of shared value in Australia. A shared value approach to corporate–community partnerships is generally distinguished from CSR initiatives by its capacity to generate two-way benefits for both parties.
Of 41 companies that participated in the survey, 46% had engaged in shared value projects but there was no clear relationship between the companies' own sectors and the focus of their partnerships.
The major areas of partnership were reconceiving products or services to meet a social need (at a profit), improving the local business environment, and addressing social issues to reduce costs and increase productivity.
Brand value was one of the major areas of perceived benefit for companies, while there were mixed results on whether companies had seen economic benefits from their partnerships yet or not.
Interestingly, many of the companies were pursuing initiatives that delivered economic, social and environmental outcomes, but did not label them as 'shared value' due to internal perception issues and the difficulty of measuring impact.
With shared value still in its infancy in Australia, the Shared Value Project suggests it will be important that all players continue to share their experiences and communicate with each other in order to embed the approach in more companies and optimise the potential impact.
You can read more and download the report from the Shared Value Project.