Work is the engine at the center of our economies. Shaping a future of work where people can thrive is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Over 20 global member companies of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have collaborated to develop shared business principles aimed at putting people first when it comes to the impact of technology on how work is carried out by direct employees, contract and temporary workers, and workers throughout the supply chain. This includes automation, digitization, AI, machine learning, ICT, platform technologies, IoT, virtual & augmented reality, 3D/4D printing, and more.
In a nutshell, the business principles for people-centered technology transformation call for companies to:
- Respect workers’ rights when developing and implementing new technology
- Engage workers in technology transformation, by communicating transparently, consulting with workers and involving them in the design and adoption of technologies
- Empower workers to benefit from new technology, through learning, training and support, by ensuring inclusion and by fairly sharing the benefits of tech-driven improvements
Adopting these principles will help companies to ensure the ongoing trust, preparedness and resilience of their own workforce, attract and retain the best talent, stay ahead of the curve on expectations and regulations, and contribute to a thriving workforce, company, labor market and society.
The Principles launched today build on WBCSD’s leadership statement on the Future of Work, launched in September 2019. Endorsed by top executives from Ayala, Banco Santander, Charoen Pokphand Group, Firmenich, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Nestlé, PMI, PWC, Randstad, Solvay, Sonae and Unilever, the statement invites business leaders to shape a sustainable future of work through people-centered solutions and collaboration with governments, educational institutions and civil society.
WBCSD’s Future of Work Project is developing supporting guidance material to further assist companies in integrating the principles in their decision making, strategies and solutions. Furthermore, companies and partner organizations are joining forces to explore and develop collaborative solutions in the areas of skills (upskilling and reskilling) as well as workers’ health and wellbeing.
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