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GLC 2020

the Projects

Regulatory frameworks to stimulate more resilient businesses

St. Gallen

Resilient Economies and Businesses

Policymakers have found it challenging to encourage businesses to shift from shareholder primacy to a more resilient, stakeholder-focused model. Currently, most policies are rule-based, which can impose red-tape for businesses and result in a ‘tick-box’ exercise. Instead, we believe an incentive-based approach is more effective in changing corporate behaviour. Our project deliberates incentives that can be offered to businesses and considers their impact in growing a resilient business ecosystem.

It is difficult for regulators to meaningfully encourage businesses to think and move beyond their own “economic islands.” In particular, prescriptive legislation can impose burdens for businesses, inadvertently leading to antipathy and shortcuts, sometimes resulting in mere ‘tick-box’ exercises.

We believe incentives from regulators are a more effective lever that will help usher a positive change in corporate behaviour and underscore the intrinsic value of stakeholder engagement and sustainability as strategic business opportunities.

Our proposal focuses on the development of attractive “carrot” incentives for businesses that are linked to areas of growing importance for long-term resilience and corporate wellbeing, from education to diversity to R&D. They include:

• Creation of clusters of excellence dedicated to advancing knowledge on long-term business resilience, risk management and sustainability. Clusters can showcase best-in-class companies, encourage more PPPs, and offer training/exchanges for companies.
• Establishment of tax credits and differentiated policy treatments for firms meeting ESG-related metrics through spending as a % of their overall revenue. Metrics can include upskilling employees, board diversity, innovation on topics of national interest, carbon footprint reduction, etc.
• Formulation of an accreditation process that offers businesses recognition, certain privileges and specific monetary and/or non-monetary advantages that encourage more collaborative business partnerships.
• Introduction of subsidies for investments made by VCs and other PE/institutional investors in sustainable assets.
• Development of regulatory sandboxes to ensure continuous adaptability of government policies through co-creation with business.

In the near future, we forecast greater corporate transparency in data and reporting to the public, together with stronger corporate purpose and stakeholder engagement. In the long term, the burden of public priorities, such as education and innovation, can be shared more equally, resulting in savings to the public purse. At the same time, we can also witness the growth of the strategic importance of ESG, upskilling and innovation among firms.

Project  GLC Members 2020

Aaron Joshua

Aaron Joshua

Pinto

Trade Commissioner - Foreign Direct Investment

Consulate General of Canada in New York

Harsha

Harsha

Varma

Senior Manager, Distressed debt Investments

Edelweiss

Catherine

Catherine

McDonald

Research Assistant at the Institute for Business Ethics

University of St. Gallen (HSG)

Niniane

Niniane

Paeffgen

Director

Swiss Digital Initiative

Clemens

Clemens

Kürten

Master in Business Innovation

University of St. Gallen (HSG)

Yannick

Yannick

Bormuth

Management, Technology, Economics

ETH Zurich

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