Source | www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.org | Deloitte BRANDVOICE
Not too many years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that profit and corporate social responsibility were mutually exclusive pursuits. The idea that a company could improve its bottom line by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions or reducing income inequality had little chance of gaining traction among executives.
Today, though, smarter technologies and processes are decreasing costs and gradually ushering in a new understanding that doing good for people and the planet doesn’t have to come at the expense of net income.
In Deloitte Global’s third-annual Readiness Report, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: At the Intersection of Readiness and Responsibility,” a survey of more than 2,000 CXOs from 19 countries, 62 percent of leaders said one of their priorities is to link positive contributions to society with profit seeking. At the same time, the largest number of respondents cited resource scarcity as a societal focus for their companies. Societal sustainability and business sustainability have become intertwined.
“We firmly believe that companies motivated by a greater societal purpose will be stronger, more successful businesses for the long term,” says Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen. He’s not alone; Renjen, alongside the CEOs of nearly 200 major U.S. corporations, signed the Business Roundtable’s recent statement saying corporations must go beyond advancing shareholder interests. “This is a strong signal that companies are defining their values and commitments to a broader base of stakeholders,” Renjen says. “The challenge now is for businesses to put these commitments into action.”