The beauty of transparent, ethical & sustainable business

Emmanuel Lulin 3-4th April 2016 Business Leadership

Emmanuel Lulin presenting to business leaders in New Zealand 3-4th April 2016

Emmanuel Lulin and leveraging our reputation for integrity for New Zealand Corporates

Big business and ethical conduct are often held up as contradictory. However, business has a massive role to play in our economic wellbeing, so when Emmanuel Lulin, Senior Vice-President and Chief Ethics Officer at L’Oréal, and recipient of the prestigious 2015 Carol R. Marshall Award for Innovation in Corporate Ethics from the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), offered to come to New Zealand at his own expense to talk to our corporates we jumped at the chance!

Emmanuel came to New Zealand specifically to contribute to our discussion by outlining the ethical features of the L’Oreal’s business model that have enabled it to grow a customer base of 1 billion and to forecast that this will be doubled to 2 billion by 2020.

By building strong integrity systems in the current economic growth environment, TINZ believes there is opportunity to demonstrate that there is infinite potential for business and economic growth. The constraints that exist can be more easily overcome with clear understanding of accountability and the opportunity to work collaboratively that trusted governance ‎provides.

Increasingly, some very big corporates are building their business on the base of their reputation for integrity and ethical dealing. L’Oréal is one of them. In March 2016, L’Oréal was recognised for the seventh time as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute.

To provide an atmosphere of quiet contemplation and focus, TINZ hosted a Corporate Integrity Initiative Retreat on the 4th of April at Kingfish Lodge, at Whangaroa Harbour titled “Growing Business and the Economy with an Ethical Culture”.

Laurence Kubiak from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) set the context for the retreat with a background brief of the current state of business affairs and the outlook for business growth under different scenarios.

Following a discussion of business performance up to now and specifying an achievable future state, attendees progressed the development of business integrity practices, leading to a statement of what these are and how they contribute to accelerating business results.

Emmanuel explained to attendees that while compliance is important, ethics are beyond compliance and why this is core to L’Oréal’s business strategy. He noted that by using the principles of integrity, respect, courage and transparency New Zealand Corporates could mine our valuable deposit of principles to increase customers and business returns through integrity systems like L’Oréal’s. "Good ethical practices are now strategic. Companies who want to be leaders in our 21st century must address them to win trust and keep their license to operate. Innovative thinking, and strong cooperation of the players, is required to address the deep ethical challenges of today and of tomorrow."

The topics discussed included:

  • Why does New Zealand need greater business-led growth? What are the likely business and economic benefits?
  • What attributes does the L’Oreal model have that New Zealand business can adapt and what are the opportunities and risks of the model?
  • What are the barriers preventing New Zealand business from adapting their business models to focus explicitly on ethics and strong integrity systems?
  • Developing a business and economic development strategy based on integrity and the key elements of a Corporate Integrity Initiative Statement

The outcome of the retreat was the Whangaroa Statement signed by all 14 attendees.

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