The right way to support the sustainable development goals (April 2018)

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review, April 2018

Are Companies Succeeding at the SDGs or at “SDG Washing”?

When 193 member states launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations in 2015, it was not clear how businesses could contribute to an agenda that covered such wide-ranging topics as eliminating poverty and hunger and promoting peaceful, just, and strong institutions worldwide.More

MIT Sloan Management Review: Supporting sustainable development goals is easier than you might think (February 2018)

It is possible for business to be both sustainable and profitable — but some sectors have a smoother path than others.

Companies and investors are being asked to support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 — what some have described as “the closest thing the Earth has to a strategy”— since the public sector alone does not have the resources to do so. At the same time, companies must create value for their shareholders to create the returns they need for their ultimate beneficiaries.

In essence, both are being asked to do good and do well at the same time.More

Corporate Purpose Is No Substitute for Good Governance (MIT Sloan, April 2018)

Any corporate purpose, however laudatory or noble that mission may be, must be accompanied by strong governance.

The company’s board typically sets the boundary conditions in which management pursues its purpose, giving structure and meaning to the pursuit of a given corporate purpose. Purpose is not some teleological concept of the corporate end-state, a raison d’être that — by itself — pulls forward the company’s activities.More

BlackRock CEO tells companies to contribute to society. Here’s where to start (Forbes – January 2018)

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink lays out a number of requests for companies in a public letter.

He cites the pre-occupation with short-term, reactive measures to drive quarterly profits and asks CEOs to focus on “investments in employee development, innovation and capital expenditures that are necessary for longer-term growth.”

Fink explicitly raises the issue of purpose as the critical North Star to guide corporate decisions: “Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders”.More