Guiding Principles for Inclusive Capitalism
This statement sets out the collective view of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican on the definition of ‘inclusive capitalism’ and the Guiding Principles for the Council’s activities. These Principles reflect the values and approach to business and investment that this Council believes will extend the opportunities and benefits of our economic system to all people and build a more sustainable future.
Capitalism has delivered wealth and prosperity to billions of people around the world. However, we recognize that capitalism must evolve to promote a more sustainable, trusted, equitable, and inclusive system that works for everyone. This is especially important in these days of unprecedented technological advancement, climate disruption, public health crises, and social unrest. The Council recognizes the need for determined actions by its members and others working with them to achieve these aspirations for capitalism.
The Council is committed to action. It seeks real, lasting change for the good. Member organizations will each take a different approach toward implementing the Principles for inclusive capitalism, but each commits to promoting sustainable, inclusive, strong, and trusted economies around the world. Each of us, working together and with others, will find the best approaches for our institutions, industries, and governments that can foster inclusion; we will define and implement individual actions and approaches, following the Principles for inclusive capitalism. This includes further enhancement of environmental, social, and governance measures in our daily operations as we help to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
We consider that inclusive capitalism is fundamentally about creating long-term value for all stakeholders – businesses, investors, employees, customers, governments, communities, and the planet – guided by an approach that provides:
- Equality of opportunity for all people to pursue prosperity and quality of life, irrespective of criteria such as socio-economic background, gender, ethnicity, religion or age;
- Equitable outcomes for those who have the same opportunities and seize them in the same way;
- Fairness across generations so that one generation does not overburden the planet or realize near-term benefits that incur long-term costs, at the cost of future generations; and
- Fairness to those in society whose circumstances prevent them from full participation in the economy.
The Council recognizes that different societies will place different weights on these four elements of inclusive capitalism.
We believe these are vital, because there is growing evidence that equality of opportunity is good for economic growth, that feeling a sense of that inclusion and fairness contributes much to happiness and well-being.
The Principles of inclusive capitalism appeal to a fundamental sense of justice.
For more people to benefit from inclusive capitalism, the Council members will strive to contribute to a system that is:
by people to meet their needs. This credibility is established by stakeholders in the system acting responsibly, transparently and with integrity, and should there be a conflict with core values, adopting a prompt and equitable response.
and promotes diversity and equality of opportunity for individuals and a level playing field for those who engage with these opportunities. This means striving for a similar outcome for similar inputs and discouraging unjust advantage or exploitation for individual gain.
where individuals, governments, communities, and companies recognize how their actions impact one another and strive to minimize negative impact.
and able to evolve so that it continues to enable and reward innovation, progress, and adaptation.
where incentives are aligned across generations and the main actors take a long-term perspective. This means considering the future impact of actions taken today on a broad set of stakeholders and on our planet.