26 November 2013 — Sustainability firm Net Balance has released Australia’s first research into “creating shared value” at a forum in Melbourne today.

At the Creating Shared Value forum, the firm released draft insights into research it is conducting with eight Australian companies to identify common elements and insights into how companies are creating commercial and social value in practice in a mature market.

Net Balance’s research found that innovative businesses were using CSV to assess social and environmental issues as commercial opportunities. These companies were creating business value by creating societal value.

“In the draft paper we propose that people, their sense of purpose, the opportunity for learning and creativity are the foundations for a culture of innovation that is core to a company’s ability to create shared value,” said Net Balance director Terence Jeyaretnam.

“CSV is about weaving social need in to the fabric of business and creating new ways of doing things. Importantly it is evidence-based. It is not about intention, but measureable impact in solving identified problems.

“We also found that the pace at which a company can identify social issues and develop innovative solutions provides the opportunity for true competitive advantage.”

The companies involved in the research are NAB, LionCo, BT Financial, PwC, PwC Indigenous Consulting, Nestle, Toyota and Stockland.

From their research, Net Balance says there are six key foundations that enable a company to innovate for shared value: having a new mental model; leadership and culture; customer and stakeholder insights; measuring total value creation, collaboration and partnerships; and integration and execution.

The draft paper, The Potential for Creating Shared Value in Australia: How Australian companies co-create long-term commercial and social value, will be released at the conference today.

Net Balance is now seeking feedback on its research to inform the finalisation of a Green Paper due for release in early 2014.