Municipal “Investment” (0.5%) Discussion – Business Model /Budget

Staff memo.

In our discussions about investing resources as per the operating budget (budget formula identifies @ 0.5% investment) and the Enterprise Investment Strategy (there are other examples) Council has been asking for information on the equivalent investment approach within the business/economic sector.

Attached is the framework used to describe ISO26000 the international standard for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) used by business internationally.

The ISO 26000 framework identifies how the allocation of business resources are used to:

1. creates value through innovation which will produce a range of benefits including increased competitiveness, new ideas and sustainable business models (resulting in fundamental strategic and operational impacts) and

2. manage risk by mitigating operational impacts, risks and supporting external relationships (resulting in medium to high strategic and operational impacts); and

3. philanthropy.

Several of our current investment requests to Council duplicate outcomes identified by the model used by ISO 26000. In the past Council supported the development of the Internal Audit function (2012); in 2014 we are looking to invest in recommendations from the Organizational Assessment, Integrated Operating Review and Audits. These will provide an ROI based on value creation and risk management. Yet…we must learn how to better quantify this ROI –and frame the business cases – a key next step.

While this ISO model is specific to “big corporations” operating in the interests of their stakeholders, employees, community, consumers and environment, it also applies to the work of the public sector. For municipal government committed to the quadruple bottom line…. CSR makes sense.

Critics argue that CSR “distracts from the economic role of business” however, with recent examples of business impacting on communities, the environment and social infrastructure (e.g. Lac-Megantic) CSR continues to be adopted by businesses worldwide, including countries of the EU.  Staff

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