A new manifesto from the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs who work to promote the U.S. economy through sound policy led by JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon, was released today stating what many who follow sustainable investing have been advocating for: commitment to long-term value, transparency and effective engagement with all stakeholders.
“The Business Roundtable statement illustrates how the public philosophy on the role of the corporation in society is shifting from the view that corporations exist primarily to serve shareholders to one in which corporations exist to meet the needs of all stakeholders,” Jon Hale, Morningstar’s global head of sustainable research, told ThinkAdvisor.
Close to 200 executives from top U.S. companies signed the declaration, including Fortune 500 firms such as Apple, Facebook, Amazon, BlackRock and Walmart.
The commitments stated in the release are:
- Delivering value to our customers. We will further the tradition of American companies leading the way in meeting or exceeding customer expectations.
- Investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We foster diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect.
- Dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers. We are dedicated to serving as good partners to the other companies, large and small, that help us meet our missions.
- Supporting the communities in which we work. We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.
- Generating long-term value for shareholders, who provide the capital that allows companies to invest, grow and innovate. We are committed to transparency and effective engagement with shareholders.
The group noted in the statement that it believed “Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and lead a life of meaning and dignity.”
“I welcome this thoughtful statement by Business Roundtable CEOs on the purpose of a corporation,” said Bill McNabb, former CEO of Vanguard, in a statement. “By taking a broader, more complete view of corporate purpose, boards can focus on creating long-term value, better serving everyone — investors, employees, communities, suppliers and customers.”