Brands drive action on tough global issues

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Sebastian Mallaby (of “The World’s Banker" fame) suggests that today’s big corporate players are tackling pressing global challenges without waiting for government to take a lead. In Monday’s op-ed “A New Brand of Power” in the Washington Post, Mallaby suggests that firms are driven by the need to protect their brands, prompting action in response to public concerns from everything from junk food to climate change.

No regulation compels Nike to pay more than the prevailing wage in the poor countries it works in. But the value of Nike’s brand dwarfs its costs of manufacturing, so it wisely chooses to do so.

Winning support is crucial in the board room as in the legislature. In terms of gaining commitments to ambitious social and environmental targets, Mallaby suggests corporate leaders are proving more successful than their political counterparts.


Michael Jarvis

Executive Director, Transparency and Accountability Initiative

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