Do No Harm: How Global Businesses Can Be Agents for Sustainable Development and Community Building

Poverty is one of the main reasons for conflict. Business investment in developing regions is expected to reduce poverty and therefore also conflict potential. However, reality has shown that this assumption is deeply flawed and that businesses must work to address environmental justice and social governance concerns so as not to become a flashpoint for local and regional conflict themselves. Businesses in many instances must help build trust as well as additional governance capacity in local and regional communities to have a net positive impact on their new environment.

This panel will address how businesses can positively impact local communities and regions by focusing on environmental justice and sustainable development, particularly when businesses have not entered the market to sell to local consumers. The panel will discuss what works and how businesses can avoid doing harm and exacerbating conflict.