What is the Social Responsibility of Business?

Ever since Milton Friedman famously proclaimed “The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits” (NYTimes 1970), pundits have pondered whether his purist interpretation was really the only way.

Profit is certainly a lot easier to quantify than something like ‘happiness’, but the intangible benefits of good, honest business clearly go way beyond pure finance….Must the word ‘profit’ always refer to money in the strictest sense?

Collected on this page are various interpretations of the idea of “social responsibility” and the responsibility of business to take an active, passive or indifferent role in building a more sustainable world.

Read on below, or learn more on TriplePundit’s front page.

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Finding the Value in Sustainable and Inclusive Business Activities

How are sustainable business practices initiated and valuated? Though materiality assessments continue to advance in sophistication, in order to initiate sustainable or inclusive…
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff took to Twitter on Thursday to express his outrage over Indiana's so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act." But his leadership goes beyond his company’s opposition to the law.

CSR Looks Like This: Business Leadership and LGBT Equality

As has been widely reported (including here on TriplePundit), Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff offered vocal opposition to Indiana’s anti-gay law. But his leadership…
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Leaders: Place Company Values on the Same Level as Profits

Writing out a few company creeds won’t get you on track to driving real profits. To incite real change — internally and externally…
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Uber Can’t Buy Me Love

Uber takes the robber-baron approach to reputation, but trying to fix bad rep with a charitable donation is so 19th century.
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Chipotle’s Earnings Call: A Business Case for Sustainable Sourcing

Chipotle's earnings call on Feb. 3 was about more than financial accomplishments: It was a business case for sustainable meat and responsibly-grown food.
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The Quick & Dirty: Trust Me (and Other Corporate Lies)

There are many reasons why the world does not trust companies, but these are a few that stick out for me.
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3p Weekend: 30 CSR Pros to Follow in 2015

If you resolved to be more informed and more connected in 2015, we're here to help. Check out these 30 corporate social responsibility…
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3p Weekend: 10 CSR Trends to Watch Out for (And 9 to Ditch) in 2015

To kick 2015 off right, this week TriplePundit hosted a Twitter chat to project the top sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) trends…
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The Quick & Dirty: 9 Distractions We Can All Do Without in 2015

I know you are going to be flooded and fooled by a million pieces of cool new trends for 2015. Yawn ... How…
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Your Investment Portfolio’s Naughty and Nice List for 2014

One item to check off your holiday to-do list is to figure out which companies in your investment portfolio are being naughty or…
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What Defines a Social Innovator Anyway?

Sifting the wheat from the chaff at Social Innovation Summit Silicon Valley 2014.
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Patagonia’s New, Decentralized Approach to Sustainability Management

About six months ago, Patagonia, a global leader in sustainable apparel, dissolved its sustainability department. This is a development Rick Ridgeway, vice president…
Thought leaders assemble to discuss the future of the financial services industry at BSR '14.

Five Years Later: Has There Been Sustainable Change in the Financial Services Sector?

After the dust settled on the financial crisis, governments, advocacy groups and other stakeholders began to focus intensely on creating a more responsible…
Latondra Newton just took on a new role and has been asked to unite – for the first time – Toyota’s North American social innovation activities. We sat down with Newton at Net Impact '14 to find out what that means.

Toyota’s Social Innovation Umbrella

Latondra Newton just took on a new role and has been asked to unite – for the first time – Toyota’s North American…
From left to right: John Hodges of BSR, David Wheldon of Barclays, Bank of America's Andrew Plepler and Sheelah Kolhatkar of Bloomberg Businessweek discuss the future of the financial services industry at BSR '14.

Is Post-Financial Crisis CSR For Real?: Exclusive Interview at BSR ’14

TriplePundit sat down with Andrew Plepler, global corporate social responsibility executive for Bank of America, at BSR '14 to find out what has…