We’re hearing more discussions promoting the idea that the primary purpose of
business may extend beyond maximizing shareholder value. Of course, companies
need to pursue profits to stay in business and grow, but the idea that companies
can – and even should – consider the effects their actions have on society and the
environment continues to gain traction for a variety of reasons.
Some are frustrated by government inaction and are concerned that philanthropy
cannot solve global problems alone. Others say that companies can no longer ignore
the risks caused by social and environmental challenges – for instance, those resulting
from climate change, corruption, income inequality and social unrest. And still
others believe that pursuing a larger purpose is the path to innovation, to employee
engagement, to customer loyalty and to a strong, positive reputation.

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