In a world that’s grappling with climate change, economic inequality, and social unrest, businesses are no longer just profit-making entities. They’re becoming agents of change. But navigating the muddy waters of social responsibility and human rights in complex global supply chains is no small feat. That’s why I had the pleasure of speaking to Gitte Winther Bruhn, Global Head of Social Responsibility Solutions at SAP, on the Climate Confident podcast.
Gitte pointed out something critical: “It’s not just about having our technology, but we would need knowledgeable people. We would need businesses operating in the space because…we would need expert knowledge here as well.” This reminds us that technology alone cannot solve these issues; it takes a community of informed businesses to drive systemic change.
Partner Up and Solve Together
Gitte highlighted SAP’s strategic approach to tackling these challenges through its Advisory Council for Social Responsibility. Comprising companies with complex value chains, this council aims to “work on this in a very systemic way in partnerships.” Collaborative efforts like these give us hope that together, we can solve business-critical challenges concerning social responsibility and human rights.
Real-Life Success Stories
What makes Gitte’s insights so compelling is the flesh-and-blood examples she provided. Take WEConnect International, for instance, which has built a platform to connect some of the world’s largest buyers with women-owned small businesses. Another example is Ternium, a leading flat steel producer in Latin America that prioritizes workplace safety. These examples underline the point that social responsibility isn’t just a buzzword—it’s good business practice.
Why This Matters
Here’s the kicker: Ignoring social responsibility isn’t just a moral failing; it’s a business risk. With new regulations coming into play, Gitte stated, “Look at it and at least implement the United Guidelines Principle for business and human rights as a first step. Having this, it’s also giving business resilience in the supply chain.”
In the volatile world we live in, resilience is more than a bonus; it’s a necessity. Moreover, Gitte noted that your “license to operate” is at risk. If you don’t act responsibly, your brand can suffer, and your business could be in jeopardy.
Time to Act!
The crux of the matter is simple: “Doing nothing will just be worse,” said Gitte. Don’t wait for regulations to force your hand. Be proactive and see this as an opportunity for competitive advantage, resilience, and brand protection.
To dive deeper into this subject and arm yourself with actionable insights, make sure to listen to the full episode of the Climate Confident podcast with Gitte Winther Bruhn. You don’t want to miss it.
Listen to the full episode here.
Your feedback and ideas are always appreciated, so feel free to drop a comment below. And remember, every small step towards sustainability counts!
Follow the podcast in your podcast app of choice, so you don’t miss any future episodes packed with insightful discussions on climate change, sustainability, and technology.
Finally, if you value receiving weekly actionable insights on sustainability and climate, you can always sign up to be a Supporter of the podcast for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.
Until next time, stay Climate Confident!
Photo credit – Bureau of Land Management on Flickr
Full disclosure – SAP sponsored this episode of the podcast