Today, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) will host their 2021 Leaders’ Summit in Sydney and across multiple virtual locations throughout Australia.

BCCM CEO, Melina Morrison said that she hopes that the Summit will provoke not only deep thought but dynamic action in delegates’ businesses.

“The 2021 Leaders’ Summit is a timely look at how the co-operative and mutual business model lends itself to sustainable business outcomes:

  • Purpose-driven organisations, where the defined purpose is fully integrated into all aspects of the business culture, make decisions that are driven by that purpose and the needs of the communities they operate in, not by profit or shareholder demands.
  • Member-owned businesses demonstrate greater accountability and stricter governance.
  • Organisations in which ‘grassroots’ members have a voice at the top table can pivot and innovate more quickly to address the real issues facing their members at the coalface,” Ms Morrison said.

“The distinct characteristics of co-operative and mutual enterprises (CMEs) have led to demonstrably more resilient businesses through the pandemic and other crises. Now, the time is right to leverage those inherent advantages of the CME model to realise the economic opportunities arising from moving to sustainable and ESG-friendly business practices.”

Moderated by ABC Insiders host, David Speers, Summit speakers include ESG pioneer Colin Melvin, MD, Arkadiko Partners (UK) – who first coined the term ‘ESG’; Jacki Johnson, Co-Chair Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI) and Co-Chair of the UNEP FI Global Steering Committee; Claire LaBouchardiere, Senior Lawyer Corporations, ASIC and Dr John Hewson AM.

“I am looking forward to a day of challenging and fascinating conversations on a topic that is rightly occupying the minds of our most progressive business leaders,” Morrison said. “We know that our CME community is capable of dramatically influencing the experiences of individuals and communities in times of crisis – we have witnessed this once again through the pandemic. It is natural that they should now break new ground in tackling the greatest crisis of our generation.”

Accompanying the Leaders’ Summit conversations, BCCM also released Purposeful, Sustainable Business, a report which examines the nature of company boards’ understanding and familiarity with the concept of social responsibility and the importance of their corporate footprint being open to scrutiny.

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