Skip to main content
Previous Blog Home Next

Integrating Shared Value Beyond the Business

FSG recently hosted a Creating Shared Value (CSV) Summit with 40+ global corporations, senior government officials, and NGO leaders. The summit featured company-to-company conversations on launching the CSV journey, developing a CSV business case, and integrating CSV within the business and beyond the business. Summit attendees identified a learning agenda coming out of the meeting, which will help guide upcoming research in launching a CSV community of practice.

One important question raised during the CSV Summit was the extent to which a company’s CSV strategy should be co-created with NGOs, governments, and other external stakeholders. FSG’s Kyle Peterson wrote about the implications of shared value for NGOs in his recent blog post. Kyle’s insightful post about NGOs got me thinking more about the role of another important external stakeholder in CSV: government.

Nestle and Mars, which both attended the CSV Summit, illustrate the role of government in successful CSV strategies. For example, Nestle recently extended its cocoa sustainability plan to Indonesia. Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan, launched in 2009, aims to create a sustainable supply chain for the cocoa industry. By improving the quality and quantity of yields, Nestle hopes this approach will provide better quality cocoa and, in turn, also benefit cocoa farmers and their communities by providing them with long-term security and training expertise. The extension of Nestle’s cocoa plan in Indonesia involved partnerships with the provincial Government of West Sulawesi and South Sulawesi in Indonesia, along with other public and private sector players.

Mars has also identified government as a critical player in its cocoa sustainability work in Cote d’Ivoire. As FSG’s Mark Kramer, John Kania, and Leslie Crutchfield highlighted in their June 2011 Fortune article, Mars has worked closely with Cote d'Ivoire policymakers to provide more agricultural extension workers with scientific and other expertise to help farmers further improve their practices.

In both examples, Nestle and Mars have worked in partnership with government in driving joint business and social value. These cocoa sustainability strategies illustrate the need for companies to approach solving social and environmental problems with an eye toward strategies that effectively engage government and NGOs on the ground.

In the coming week and months, we will be researching other examples where companies have co-created their CSV strategies in partnership with external stakeholders such as NGOs and governments. Do you know of other promising examples in which companies have successfully integrated CSV beyond their business?

Robert Albright

Director of Programs Collective Impact Forum