Jan 19

#thesmart | Does Wall Street Finally Care About Sustainability?

Before action comes intent.

“Even though climate change is already creating material risks and opportunities for companies, and expectations from stakeholders about social responsibility are clearly rising, investors aren’t asking CEOs about their sustainability performance.”

Via Harvard Business Review

In his annual letter to S&P 500 CEOs, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, made a full-throated defense of both long-term value creation and corporate purpose. And it’s powerful stuff, especially coming from the world’s largest asset owner. Fink points out that governments seem to be failing to prepare for long-term issues and that “society is increasingly turning to the private sector” to step up on societal challenges. (Interestingly, Apple CEO Tim Cook used remarkably similar language about the role of business in society last summer).

But the money quote from Fink was this:

Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, financial reporter for the New York Times, wrote a glowing report and summed up Fink’s message as “contribute to society, or risk losing our support.”

Read the article in full here.

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