EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP AND
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

DECLARATION:
EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP ASKS FOR ITS PLACE IN THE SOCIAL ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT


European employee share ownership wants to be recognized as a part of the social economy, together with co-operatives, mutuals, associations and foundations.
The development of employee share ownership is a trend of major importance in the current world social context.
Employee owners, as neither just employees nor just shareholders but co-entrepreneurs, are closely related to workers’ co-operatives. Therefore, EFES (the European Federation of Employee Share Ownership) and CECOP (European Confederation of Workers’ Co-operatives, Social Co-operatives and Participative Enterprises) are partners: EFES asks for its place within the social economy, beside CECOP.
In its mission statement, EFES states "employee share ownership and participation make a significant contribution to economic and social progress. They combine excellence in labour productivity and business performance with a broad, constructive social contribution". From the start, employee share ownership highlighted its specificity: indeed, its primary concern is neither patrimonial, nor financial, but rather sustainable development and participation in decision-making in the company.
employee share ownership gives enterprises roots and balance. Together with other forms of participation, it leads to better work and more efficiency. "EFES will promote wide-spread wealth, business excellence and humanity (in the workplace and in it’s environment) to go hand in hand."
EFES is therefore an open organisation - gathering, among its members, several important Trade Unions.
employee share ownership and participation proceed from, but also contribute to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.
Today, being a company's main shareholder requires but a little percentage of the shareholding. In other cases 5 or 10 % of the shares must be gained for employee shareholders to consider themselves as co-entrepreneurs and access to decision-making. Whenever the rate reaches over 25 to 30%, it is almost always a situation of co-enterprise.
employee share ownership is also likely to bring a substantial contribution to economic and social development and to employment in Europe. Generally speaking employee share ownership and participation improves growth, adding up to 1% to the national product, on an annual basis. At European scale, this is potentially millions of new jobs.Europe wide, collective social responsibility should see employee share ownership as a major element in the European strategy for employment.
For all those reasons, we feel that employee share ownership must be integrated as a part of the social economy and its objectives in terms of sustainable development, social integration and cohesion.
Marc Mathieu, May 10th, 2002.

 

LINKS
Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development www.un.org/esa/sustdev/isd.htm
International Institute for Sustainable Development iisd1.iisd.ca/measure/default.htm
Institute for Sustainable Development club.euronet.be/idd/
European Network on Sustainable Development www.c3ed.uvsq.fr/reseau/
Sustainable development information exchange sdie.jrc.es/intro.html
Redefining Progress www.rprogress.org/
World Business Council for Sustainable Development www.wbcsd.ch/
European Databank Sustainable Development www.sd-eudb.net
Le site francophone du développement durable www.agora21.org
Plate-forme "Indicateurs pour un développement durable" www.belspo.be/platformisd
Commission Interdépartementale belge de développement durable www.cidd.fgov.be
Conseil Fédéral belge de Développement Durable www.cfdd.be

 

 

 

 

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For information and contact
EFES - EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF EMPLOYEE SHARE OWNERSHIP
FEAS - FEDERATION EUROPEENNE DE L'ACTIONNARIAT SALARIE
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
E-mail: efes@efesonline.org
Web site: www.efesonline.org
EFES' objective is to act as the umbrella organization of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote employee share ownership and participation in Europe.