Earning and retaining our social license

This week I had the opportunity to attend the Crawford Leadership Forum at the ANU in Canberra, listening to leaders from across business, academia and government on the issues and trends which are creating new challenges and opportunities in Australia and our region.

It is abundantly clear that business and industry leaders need to think beyond the boundaries of their own company or sector in order to survive and thrive in our increasingly connected economies and more engaged communities.

Public attitudes and expectations around corporate leadership and business conduct are escalating and demanding we think beyond the balance sheet. As the APRA prudential inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank highlighted, iconic status and financial success are not enough to sustain community trust and corporate reputation. Similarly, the ASX has been consulting on the fourth edition of its corporate governance principles and recommendations, including a focus on the importance of social license and corporate values and culture.

Australia’s property industry is at the frontline of best practice in these areas. Our report on social sustainability released earlier this year highlighted many great examples from across our membership. Our ‘Creating for Generations’ industry campaign was another platform to highlight our economic and social contribution.

At a time when going after the ‘big end of town’ is an easy political sleight, earning and retaining our social license requires constant investment and renewal. In this issue, we look at how Mirvac is strengthening the social capital of our community through its volunteering programs. It’s an inspiring example of what our industry does to build great places and strong communities.