The Business Roundtable made a statement on Monday that redefined the priorities that corporations should be making to focus on social/community responsibilities as well as profits. The statement was signed by more than 180 US companies.
The Business Roundtable is an association of America’s leading companies working to promote a thriving U.S. economy and expanded opportunity for all Americans through public policy. The association includes chief executives from JP Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, Ford and Apple.
This statement marks the first time the group has prioritised something above shareholder value. We are seeing a genuine shift of thinking and action away from traditional drivers behind business of revenue and profit to employee and community focused responsibilities as well as profits.
In the UK we have seen a similar growing shift with the likes of the Public Services (Social Value) Act launched in 2013 as well as the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act in 2014 and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) in 2015. All of these initiatives are driving real change in how the public sector procure services and products as well as having an impact on how the private and 3rd sector procure as well.
These initiatives and policies help to outline the essential role organisations can have in improving our society when they are committed to meeting the needs of their stakeholders, internally and externally.
The Business Roundtable said the pursuit of shareholder interests is no longer the central purpose of corporate America. Companies should focus on social responsibilities as well as profits, the organisation said. Business Roundtable members include some of the biggest firms in the US