by Tracy Mayor | Ideas Made to Matter | Sep 17, 2019
Last month, leaders at some of the world’s largest companies took the notable step of redefining the purpose of a corporation, adopting a “modern standard” for corporate responsibility that promotes “an economy that serves all Americans.”
The 181 CEOs who signed the statement from Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers headed by JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, pledged to run their companies “for the benefit of all stakeholders — customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.”
The statement marks a notable move away from the adherence to shareholder primacy — the belief that corporations exist principally to serve shareholders — which the group had embraced since at least 1997. “Major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term,” Dimon said in prepared remarks.
That pivot should catch the eye of a growing number of organizations committed to impact investing, the practice of investing in companies, organizations, and funds with the intention of generating not just financial returns, but measurable social and environmental impact as well.