I am quoted in this Fast Company piece on a milestone announcement by the Business Roundtable. Literally 25 years after I came up with the Triple Bottom Line, the Business Roundtable in the USA has made an announcement potentially reversing over 50 years in which Milton Friedman’s doctrine of shareholders-above-everything-else has prevailed.
The article by Rick Wartzman opens as follows:
For the past two decades, the official stance of America’s top corporate executives has been that the interests of shareholders came before the interests of all others—workers, consumers, the cities and towns in which their companies operated, and society as a whole.
The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group composed of the nation’s leading CEOs, just announced that its members “share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders”—each of whom “is essential”—while pledging “to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities, and our country.”
With its “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” the Roundtable has affirmed the need for “meeting or exceeding customer expectations”; “investing in our employees,” including by “compensating them fairly and providing important benefits,” as well as offering training and education so that they can “develop new skills for a rapidly changing world”; “dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers”; “supporting the communities in which we work”; and “generating long-term value for shareholders.”
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase and the Roundtable’s chairman, says he hopes that this declaration “will help to set a new standard for corporate leadership.”
It is, without question, a huge deal.