On the surface, this statement may seem like just another contribution to the world of hyperbole. A Drug-free ASEAN by 2015 anyone? The difference here is that we are dealing with practices that the vast majority of people consider have no place in society, and that are simply unsustainable from a business point of view. We also know that great things can be accomplished when people are drawn together by a common vision. Almost 60 years ago, for example, with the US space program characterised by a lack of clarity, wastage and duplication, President Kennedy announced the country’s commitment “to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” The Moon goal sought to harness the commitment of a wide range of people with many technical abilities, problem-solving skills and pioneering ideas through setting a common vision. It was right on the borderline between hugely ambitious and completely unrealistic. Many people simply said it couldn’t be done. Moreover, there is really no viable alternative in a post-Covid-19 reality. The pandemic has shown how little difference there really is between society, business, and the economy. This realisation should not be new to the many companies in Asia that have long embraced their interdependence with the communities around them.

COVID, ESGs and Going to the Moon: How Business Can Unite to Eliminate Forced Labour, 2021 DOWNLOAD

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