Shout your net positive from the rooftops – how a whistleblowing solution can help
When we started WhistleB in 2011, interest was growing in better monitoring how business was conducted. Companies wanted to make sure that they produced and delivered services and products in a way that gave greater consideration to people and the environment. Reporting standards emerged to help measure and compare results over time and between companies. As reflected in a book written by us at the time, businesses were trying to ensure that their sustainability work was profitable.
Today, the perspective of sustainability is shifting. It is no longer a tick-the-box exercise listing actions taken to improve the impact of current service and product offerings. Instead we are seeing an important move towards becoming “net positive” and creating “green revenues”. Being net positive means going beyond “doing less bad” to the environment and society towards adding greater value to society than you take away. It’s about providing new solutions that society needs and thereby becoming a net contributor.
If your organisation is one of those forward-thinkers moving in this direction, then you are well-positioned for sustainable profitability through sustainable services. But are you fully benefiting from the additional business value of clearly communicating what you contribute to society?
What we mean is that a wide range of stakeholders are interested in this trend towards net positive and indeed putting a premium on net positive companies. Some investors now seek out and track these net positive companies that add to society. The FTSE Russel Green Revenues Index is one such example. It aims to obtain increased exposure to companies engaged in the transition to a green economy by capturing changes in the revenue mix of companies from their green goods, products and services.
Are you capturing the additional value of communicating your net positive contribution? Do your stakeholders know about the good your company does? Would they be able to point to the tools you use and the actions you take that make a difference? Think about your potential investors or your future workforce. How will you catch the eye of the kind of investors that want to invest in the long-term good of society, or attract the kind of employees who will uphold your code of conduct and ethics if they do not know about the positive impact of your company?
How can a whistleblowing solution help in these efforts?
Let’s remind ourselves of what a whistleblowing solution does. It gives people a safe way – and thus courage – to raise concerns about misconduct they see taking place. Through a whistleblowing solution, matters that are unacceptable to the company and detrimental to society such as environmental crime, corruption, child labour and gender inequality can be identified and nipped in the bud far sooner than if they had gone unreported. These are all unsustainable practices that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals also seek to stamp out. Thus, communicating to stakeholders that you have a whistleblowing solution is a clear demonstration of your commitment to sustainable societal development.
For future employees a whistleblowing solution suggests business ethics. For investors it indicates transparency. For the Board, it points to good risk management. All of which are fundamental to sustainable operations and sustainable profits and well worthy of communicating to strengthen the company’s market position.
We consider WhistleB to be a net positive company that provides a service that makes a difference. We set out to create our secure, anonymous whistleblowing service some 15 years ago as we strongly believe that whistleblowing contributes to creating safe and transparent workplaces and is good for sustainable business. We often hear from our pioneering customers about how well the whistleblowing service helps them reduce the risk of misconduct and the resulting damage to their people, profits and society. We don’t shout this from the rooftops often enough. Perhaps it’s time for us and our customers to do so.
If this is the first time you are considering a whistleblowing solution as part of your strategy to become net positive, you may want to download our latest handbook. The WhistleB handbook, the ABC guide for establishing a whistleblowing solution that increases customer and employee satisfaction has been written for company boards and management teams. It aims to help senior executives who have the ultimate responsibility for organisational sustainability and risk. The book summarises our most pertinent experience, thousands of customer discussions and the best practices from helping hundreds of organisations in implementing whistleblowing systems.