Abstract & Publication
The new responsibilities of companies in a time of increasing inequality and climate change
The article moves from reading the "manifesto" of the Business Rountable of August 2019 which, like other similar ones, significantly shifts the focus of the corporation's purposes from the creation of shareholder value, prevalent over the last three to four decades, to the satisfaction of corporate stakeholders: not only employees, customers and suppliers, but also local communities, the environment and society as a whole.
The author believes that the intention expressed by these new positions is all in all authentic, even if a large part of the business world does not yet pursue these objectives.
This intention is generated both by an increasingly widespread ethical drive and, above all, by conditions inside and outside the company that lead management and shareholders to achieve value creation objectives shared with stakeholders and sustainability targets consistent with the need to protect the environment.
The article argues that, without prejudice to the need for company profitability, the objective of environmental sustainability is now part of the aims of corporations for economic, regulatory and market reasons.
But it underlines the growing importance of the push generated by the international financial system (pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions) that has decided to shift investments of enormous size from companies that do not pursue carbon reduction objectives to those that respect them to a lesser or greater extent. This new focus is proving to be the new and truly effective game changer in the great planetary goal of combating climate change.
Graduated in Economics (1973), Political Science (1980) and History (2010). He is editor-in-chief of Harvard Business Review Italy and CEO of its publishing company (StrategiQs Edizioni).
Mr. Sassoon is also a member of the Taylor Institute Advisory Board.