top of page

The value of ethical infrastructure

I've often said that #toxicculture is the greatest impediment to sustainable community building. Now there are some numbers to prove it. A new Ethical Advantage Deloitte study finds that "the financials stack up for investing in ethical infrastructure: Making Australian companies 10 per cent more ethical would generate a $45 billion increase in prosperity every year."

While the utilitarian argument for "doing the right thing" is in itself problematic, the cost of unethical conduct on a social/national scale, when calculated (as in this research), is noteworthy.

National GDP is compromised by unethical conduct & improving a firm’s ethical behaviour can increase return on assets by about 7 per cent.

We are reminded in this piece that ethics underpins and sustains public trust in our institutions and their leadership. Without strong ethical foundations, trust shatters under the slightest touch of suspicion.

A lack of trust is a huge energy drain as human relations are then governed by fear, regulation and compliance which is costly and exhausting.

This climate strains collaboration and innovation and diminishes the human spirit, which drives all worthy human endeavors.

In the end, we all suffer. As noted in this piece, "ethics is the antidote".

And, we can all make a contribution by being ethical ourselves. What values, principles and beliefs (or maxims) guide your conduct? Do you live by them?

The Ethical Advantage makes a series of practical recommendations, backed by 30 individual measures to achieve the economic dividends. These cover:

  • tracking ethical performance over time

  • elevating the conversation about ethics

  • teaching ethics in schools

  • improving workplace culture

  • revamping the oversight of politics.

Which areas have you committed to advancing?


bottom of page