Innovation Matters

Dec 28, 2016

Why placing ethics over profits pays off

Estimated reading time: 3-5 minutes

Ethics is a term that’s often misunderstood, yet it’s becoming an increasingly important component of business practice.

As an emerging market, the Middle East has witnessed a significant growth and, with Dubai set to host Expo 2020, this is set to further increase over the next few years.

In the race towards a sustainable economy, the pressure is on companies to practice what they preach by acting more responsibly and reporting on their efforts and achievements. The fight against corruption is also strategically crucial for the companies’ community, in order to create a level playing field for today’s globalized markets.

Philips has long recognized these needs, and is actively engaged in various initiatives that contribute to raising the standard on business ethics, including the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative of the World Economic Forum, working towards a common goal. Philips has been a global signatory of the UN Global Compact principles since 2007, and this reflects the commitment of the company to high standards in accountability and transparency. In addition, to really make an impact, we find it necessary that our partners share our values when it comes to doing business in a fair and ethical manner, because ethics really do trickle down to each and every level of operation.


When companies work ethically, they will naturally outpace competition. Why? Simply because customers, as we’ve discovered, will see them as a trusted partner, not only for what they do, but how it is delivered. Commitment from management is a key factor to effectively deal with these situations.

As I put it to my organization: the only business that we do is ethical business.”

Particularly in high pressure environments, we must make a concerted effort to continuously focus on ethical behaviors. Guided by the Philips General Business Principles (GBP), we govern the business’ decisions and apply equally to corporate actions and to the behavior of individual employees. They incorporate Philips’ fundamental principles for doing business with the intention of ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, as well as with Philips’ norms, values and standards.

Business ethics have been part of Philips’ way of working for decades. Our focus has expanded from dealing directly with consumers, to developing solutions for governments, businesses and working with partners and via joint ventures. Since then, our focus on responsible business conduct and our behavior has grown even more.

When it came to taking our first steps in the Middle East to promoting ethical practices as part of daily business operations, we announced our partnership with the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit organization based in the GCC. In our partnership with the Pearl Initiative, we have worked to promote transparency, accountability, corporate governance and best practices in the Arab World. This partnership is about using our knowledge of the region and experience of driving awareness of the benefits of best practice to reinforce positive regional experiences – ultimately encouraging more companies to raise business standards and fight corruption.

About Innovation Matters

Innovation Matters delivers news, opinions and features about healthcare, and is focused on the professionals who work within the industry, as well as Philips as a cutting-edge health technology organization. From interviews with industry giants to how-to guides and features powered by Philips data, our goal is to deliver interesting, educational and entertaining content to empower and inspire all those who work in healthcare or related industries.


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Roy Jakobs

Roy Jakobs

CEO Philips

Roy Jakobs is the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Philips. As CEO, he is also Chairman of the Board of Management and the Executive Committee.
With his extensive global executive leadership experience, Roy drives Philips’ strategy to help deliver people-centered, high-quality care.
Click here to read more on Roy Jakobs

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