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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Transparency, the Panama Papers and the Future of Sustainable Development

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Turning a Tanker Ship: No More Business As Usual

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Mindfulness, Sustainability, Social Responsibility – Not Just Buzzwords!

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Social Purpose vs. Benefit Corporations: Small Distinction, Big Difference

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On the Trail of The B Team

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Benefit Corporations for a Sustainable Economy

If governments around the world want to encourage public-private partnerships that help us transition toward a sustainable economy, then they must also create…

Why Don’t More Companies Invest in CSR?

The question led me to reflect on the many different arguments companies make against investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR). Although the arguments…

COP21 Gets Schooled On Climate Action By Soft Drinks And Breakfast Cereals

While global political leaders lurch to a conclusion at the COP21 Paris climate talks, 114 global companies take a stronger position on carbon…

Why Milton Friedman Would Have Been Okay With Benefit Corporations

Friedman won the Nobel Prize in 1976, advised President Ronald Reagan on economic policy in the 1980s and wrote several blockbusters, including "Free…

The Deep Legal Roots of the Business Case for Sustainability

In 1932, E. Merrick Dodd wrote in the Harvard Law Review that the corporation is "an economic institution which has a social service…