Shared Value and The 3 Pillars Network

Shared value is a type of management strategy that focuses on companies creating business value that is measurable through addressing and identifying social problems that impact their business. New opportunities are created by this shared value framework for businesses, governments and civil society organizations to leverage the power provided by market-based competition in order to effectively address social problems.


Professors Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer first defined the concept in their article that appeared in the January/February 2011 issue of the Harvard Business Review entitled “Creating Shared Value.” Three ways for creating shared value were identified by the authors:

Reconceive markets and products- Defining markets from the perspective or social ills or unmet needs and then developing profitable services or products to remedy the conditions or problems.

Example: A new kind of safety syringe was developed by BD to help reduce the number of needle-stick injuries experienced by healthcare workers. This product innovation eventually grew into a $2 billion market, or approximately 25% of the corporation’s revenues.

Redefining productivity within the value chain- Productivity of a company or its suppliers is increased through addressing environmental and social constraints within the value chain.

Example: Walmart was able to save $200 million in distribution costs while increasing the quantities they shipped through improving delivery logistics and reducing packaging.

Local cluster development- Making the competitive context stronger in key areas where the company does business in ways that will contribute to the productivity and growth of the company.

Example: When Cisco launched its Networking Academy for training more than four million network administrators around the world it was able to reduce a key constraint for expanding its addressable server market.

Shared value doesn’t involve including values of the stakeholders in corporate decisions or redistributing value that is created from philanthropy. What shared value focuses on instead is creating meaningful social and economic value- new benefits that are greater than what it costs society and the business.

A new role is defined for business within society by a Shared Value framework that extends beyond traditional corporate social responsibility models. Instead of the focus being on mitigating harm within the existing operations of the company, shared value strategies instead engage the innovation and scale of companies so that social progress is advanced. Shared value at the very same time provides new ways for other actors in society to interact with corporations to deliver social impact:

The strategic priorities of NGOs can evolve to partner with companies more effectively on their shared value strategies.

Government and philanthropic bodies are able to discover new ways for incentivizing private sector investment to solve pressing social problems.

Investors are able to gain insight into the profit potential and future growth of companies by understanding how social issues are addressed by shared value strategies that impact the company’s performance directly.

Students, academics and individual practitioners all over the world are able to deepen their understanding of shared value as well as applying it within their academic institutions, social enterprises and companies.

Although shared value is still within the early stages of its adoption cycle, many of the most respected companies in the world have embraced the approach, so that social problems are addressed as a core component of the corporate strategy.

Crane Hire Company Loading Good Will

Volunteering at a homeless shelter for an afternoon or donating $100 to one of your favorite charities will offer a great example for others within your community and make you feel really good.

However, in terms of the social impact and long-term benefits there is a practical limit in terms of what we are able to personally provide to our communities through giving.

However, when thousands or hundreds of people gather and coordinate their giving, such as what takes place as part of a well-planned corporate giving campaign, lasting and great good can be accomplished for a community. The effect is enhanced even further with the CSR program continuing over several months or even years.

Case Study: Preston Hire

Preston Hire – a company that specialises in crane hire in Sydney recently joined forces with global contracting company Brookfield Multiplex at Capital Square construction site in Perth’s CBD for Cystic Fibrosis Australia.

In an effort to help raise awareness and funds for CFA, Preston Hire’s expert team installed a loading platform to the 28 level construction site, painted “red rose” (as apposed to the normal yellow colour of their equipment) as a symbol for advocacy group Cystic Fibrosis Australia (CFA).

Beyond the benefits to the community, charitable giving offers important benefits as well to the business, both externally and internally.

External Benefits

Whenever a strategic CSR program is established by a company, they will start seeing positive results within the commercial world in several ways almost immediately:

Public Relations: The media notices the philanthropic activity of a company. All the fund-raising events and charitable organizations rely on the media spreading the word regarding their work. Therefore, any corporation that has a significant share of the work will receive a heavy amount of coverage by the media.

Social Media: Although some organizations have concerns in terms of potential backlash coming from negative social media comments, a company with strategic corporate giving will benefit from positive social media sharing and mentions. That impact that this type of publicity can have really can’t be overstated.

Reputation: Although it isn’t as tangible as social media coverage or PR, you cannot deny the fact that numerous consumers make purchasing decisions based on how they feel regarding a product or company.

Profit: All the above eventually leads to higher profits as social media and positive public perception feelings influence branding and also purchasing eventually.

Internal Benefits

When it comes to a corporate charitable giving programs, the benefits are not only external results but internal ones as well:

Employee Engagement: A top priority of every successful corporation is to recruit top-performing employees and do whatever they can to keep them happy. Employee engagement is improved by charitable giving by provides boosts pride with their work, gratitude towards the organization, ethical behavior and productivity.

Morale: With employees happier with corporate culture and more engaged with their work, quite naturally their morale is going to be higher. This results in less productivity and time lost due to lower turnover rates, extended lunches and breaks, tardiness or illness.

Teamwork: The positive attitude in general within the workplace extends to more than the rank-and-file employees. So whenever a corporate giving program is able to bring people together from the different levels within the organization – from the mail room to the C-level – everybody feels as if they are working together towards a common goal. Feelings of effective teamwork extends past the CSR program that influences other aspects of work positively.

Sustainable Materials: Moving Away from Asbestos


Asbestos is the name given to a group of natural mineral fibres that was widely used as a building material prior to 1990 in a variety of products due to excellent strength, insulation and fire resistant properties. It is very versatile and estimates suggest that it has been used in over 3000 applications globally.

Till the mid 1980s, Australia used to be one of highest per capita users of this group of natural fibres. In fact, its use was so widespread in Australia that around one-third of all homes in the country are estimated to have used Asbestos in some form. After the discovery of its carcinogenic properties in the mid 1980s, its use was banned but it is still present in a significant number of homes and it can be deadly.

Health Effects of Exposure to Asbestos

It is a known carcinogen which means that inhalation of these fibres is known to be associated with increased risk of a variety of diseases including lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural disease and mesothelioma. It is also pertinent to mention here that even short-term or limited exposure to these fibres can be dangerous but it is not necessary that an individual will develop an asbestos related disease (ARD) due to exposure to these fibres.

Medicals researchers are still trying to find out the reasons for susceptibility of some people to asbestos related diseases whereas there are others who may avoid contracting and ARD even though they have been regularly exposed to these fibres.

Presence of Asbestos in the Home

As mentioned above, almost one third of all the homes built in Australia have used asbestos in some form. In case your house was built before the mid-1980s, there is a high chance that it does contain Asbestos in some form. Similarly, if your house was built between mid 1980s and 1990, it may also have some asbestos.

However, all the houses that were built after 1990 are unlikely to have used any building materials containing asbestos.

As far as determining the presence of asbestos in a particular material is concerned, it cannot be determined visually. The only sure way to determine the presence of asbestos is to get a sample tested by a laboratory that has been accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities.

Give a call on 1800 621 666 or visit to find out more about accredited laboratories offering such testing in your area. When in doubt, you should treat the material as if it has some asbestos. If there is in fact asbestos in your home your best bet is to contact a company that does asbestos removal in Perth and surrounding areas, they will be able to safely remove the risk from your home and dispose of it appropriately.

What to do in case a wall is damaged in the house and you think it is has asbestos?

First of all, you should not use a common vacuum cleaner as it does not have the ability to filter out all the dangerous particles and in some cases, it may also release more fine fibres in the air thereby polluting the indoor air. The best way to manage exposure in case of a wall damage is to take a damp paper towel or a damp cloth and wipe up the dust with it.

This damp towel or cloth should be placed inside a plastic bag and tied up and this plastic bag should be placed in another plastic bag. You should tie this second bag tightly and put it in the rubbish bin.

In case of minor damage, you may use a sealant such as polyfiller, paint or PVA glue to seal the crack in the wall. However, if the damage is severe and can’t be sealed, you should get that sheet replaced and make sure that the old sheet is disposed of in the correct manner.

Removing Asbestos from Your Home on Your Own

As far as approval for removing asbestos from your home is concerned, each state and territory has its own requirements. Any renovation work that involves removing asbestos from the building may require you to obtain a building licence or demolition licence if the building is going to be demolished.

Sustainable Food and Shared Value

When the top corporate CEOs gathered in New York for the Shared Value Leadership Summit on 11-13 May, Yara Africa featured as the keynote business study.

Shared Value Initiative

The Yara case study was used as an example of how the private sector has developed strategies to deal with societal needs. This study was written by Professor Michael E. Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School. The professor is one of the leading authorities on strategy and competitiveness.

Mark Kramer who is a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School said that this was a good case on creating shared value. He said this after presenting the challenges and results Yara passed through when partnering in order to develop Tanzania’s agricultural sector. Kramer is also known for founding the FSG which is a consultancy firm.

Creating win-win situations

This business case study explains how Yara has created shared value in the African continent. Yara has done this by connecting the small scale farmers with infrastructure which has provided access to markets. As a result, the economic developments in the rural areas grew in the rural farming communities.

Terje Tollefsen who is the Head of Strategy at Yara and Business Development said it was very inspiring for Yara to be the subject of a case study by Mark Kramer and Michael Porter at the Harvard Business School. “Shared value explains how it is possible to align the shareholder and societal interests creating win-win situations” Tollefsen added responding to the case at the Partners day.

Mark Kramer and Michael Porter argue that shared value can lead to successful business strategies. The Yara case study will be part of the Harvard executive classes curriculum.

Multiplying yields sustainably

The audience received the case study actively and positively. They engaged on discussions about how post-harvest losses occur in a country experiencing hunger on and low yields and why educating the farmers on building roads is not sufficient in transforming the agricultural sector i.e. Yara market.

Yara emphasizes the importance of delivering business solutions in order to improve agricultural productivity in a sustainable way in order to grow the company’s business. Yara is leading the industry BY engaging in Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA). The company is helping policy makers, farmers, and major food and brewery companies in reducing their carbon footprints.

Sean De Cleene who is the senior VP Global Initiative Strategy & Business Development at Yara spoke about CSA alongside Rockefeller Foundation representatives, the Sustainable Food Lab, Monsanto, and the National Australia Bank in a panel discussion. Sean De Cleene spoke of how Yara has combined a set of strategic goals by sharing some examples on how CSA has already been implemented.

He explained the scientific project and Climate Compatible Agriculture, the ECCAg, documented how to increase yields without increasing the greenhouses gas emissions. Cleene also said they have started looking on how to add this knowledge to a wider concept and partner with SAGCOT in creating an inclusive and sustainable growth.

This was the fifth consecutive year of the Shared Value summits under the slogan Business at its Best. It focuses on how to generate new business solutions in order to solve social issues.