Principles for Business
The Caux Round Table believes that the world business community should play an
important role in improving economic and social conditions. As a statement of aspirations,
this document aims to express a world standard against which business behavior can be
measured. We seek to begin a process that identifies shared values, reconciles differing
values, and thereby develops a shared perspective on business behavior acceptable to
and honored by all.
These principles are rooted in two basic ethical ideals: kyosei and human dignity. The
Japanese concept of kyosei means living and working together for the common good
enabling cooperation and mutual prosperity to coexist with healthy and fair competition.
"Human dignity" refers to the sacredness or value of each person as an end, not simply as
a mean to the fulfillment of others' purposes or even majority prescription.
The General Principles in Section 2 seek to clarify the spirit of kyosei and "human dignity,"
while the specific Stakeholder Principles in Section 3 are concerned with their practical
In its language and form, the document owes a substantial debt to The Minnesota
Principles, a statement of business behavior developed by the Minnesota Center for
Corporate Responsibility. The Center hosted and chaired the drafting committee, which
included Japanese, European, and United States representatives.
Business behavior can affect relationships among nations and the prosperity and well-
being of us all. Business is often the first contact between nations and, by the way in which
it causes social and economic changes, has a significant impact on the level of fear or
confidence felt by people worldwide. Members of the Caux Round Table place their first
emphasis on putting one's own house in order, and on seeking to establish what is right
rather than who is right.
Section 1. Preamble
The mobility of employment, capital, products and technology is making business