Castle Water CEO proposes new ethical framework at Social Contract Summit
John Reynolds OBE, CEO of Castle Water, addressed the Social Contract Summit in London on 6 November, organised by Indepen and The Water Report. Speaking alongside FT City Editor Jonathan Ford and regulators including Rachel Fletcher, CEO of Ofwat, John discussed how an ethical framework can aid corporate decision making and form an integral part of reforming existing regulatory approaches to utilities.
Based on his experience of engagement with companies on behalf of the Church, John identified three key constituents of an ethical approach to business decision making: clearly defined ethical duties relating to each stakeholder group; what the philosopher Immanuel Kant termed categorical imperatives – ethical rules that will not be broken; and a hierarchy for resolving the inevitable conflicts between duties to the different stakeholder groups.
The objective of the Social Contract Summit is to explore and define the ‘social contract’ between investors and companies delivering essential services, such as energy, transport, telecoms and water, and the customers and taxpayers who utilise and pay for them.