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.

jonathan-atwood

Video: Jonathan Atwood, Unilever on “The ROI of Sustainability”

At Sustainable Brands 2015 we asked thought leaders to define the "ROI of Sustainability" in their words. In this video, Jonathan Atwood of…
darren-beck

Video: Darren Beck, Sprint on “The ROI of Sustainability”

At Sustainable Brands 2015 we asked thought leaders to define the "ROI of Sustainability" in their words. In this video, Darren Beck of…
bruno-sarda

Video: Bruno Sarda, Dell on “The ROI of Sustainability”

At Sustainable Brands 2015, we asked thought leaders to define the ROI of Sustainability in their words. In this video, Bruno Sarda of…
El-Bajío-Watershed

General Mills: Water Stewardship and the Evolution of Business Imperatives

For a food giant like General Mills, water stewardship and resource management isn't an option. It's a business imperative.
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The United Nations Invites You to ‘Lever Up’ Your Social Impact

The United Nations recently gave a preview of its global goals for 2030, slated to be formally unveiled at their Social Good Summit…
paul-herman

Video: Paul Herman, HIP Investor on “The ROI of Sustainability”

At Sustainable Brands 2015 we asked thought leaders to define the "ROI of Sustainability" in their words. In this video, Paul Herman of…
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Top Retailers Discontinue Confederate Flag Merchandise

Spurred by the Charleston massacre -- and subsequent protests to remove the Confederate flag from South Carolina's capitol building -- mega-retailers like Walmart…
Vanilla from Madagascar is just one of the ingredients General Mills vowed to source more sustainably.

General Mills Releases First Public Policy Statement On Human Rights

General Mills announced its human rights policy earlier this month. Although the policy does not contain anything new, it is the first time…
first green bank LEED solar

First Green’s ‘Regenerative Banking’ Reaches Beyond Sustainability

First Green Bank is employing a new business model in building a community-focused "green" bank in the heart of Florida. The winner of…
ron-cotterman

Sustainability & Innovation: Ron Cotterman, Sealed Air

TriplePundit was invited by Janssen to create a series of video interviews asking the question - What is innovation and how can it…
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HP’s Chris Librie Explains Living Progress for 2015

HP has a solid commitment to the triple bottom line. Chris Librie outlines a few examples of the company's integrated approach to sustainability.
These children are just a few of the thousands of refugees living in Myanmar.

Multinational Businesses and the Plight of the Rohingya

Even in a more open and democratic Burma, the Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority, continue to suffer. And there isn't a single actor…
P&G mobile relief effort in Union Beach, N.J. after Hurricane Sandy tore through the area earlier in the week, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for Procter & Gamble)

Disaster Relief Efforts: The Private Sector Has a Role to Play

It seems like aid agencies are scrambling to provide disaster relief almost every few months these days. Their efforts would not be half…
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Supply Chain Sustainability Takes Center Stage in Cannes

The Cannes red carpet is more about glitz than sustainable fashion. Kering, the official fashion partner of the annual international film festival, might…
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Collaborative Conservation: Taking the Lead on Climate Resilience

As we confront the fact that we’ve long since surpassed greenhouse gas concentrations that will irrevocably change the climate, we have to ask:…