Business Praise for Business Roundtable “Statement of Purpose of a Corporation”

Media Release

Washington, DC – The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), representing the public policy interests of more than 250,000 responsible businesses, praised the “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” announced today by the Business Roundtable (BRT). ASBC is focusing on steps to turn principles like those in the BRT statement into substantive reforms to capitalism at its summit in December. 

“We welcome Jamie Dimon and the leaders of the other companies now agreeing with what we have been saying for ten years,” said Jeffrey Hollender, ASBC CEO. “We applaud the Business Roundtable’s recognition that maximizing shareholder profits can no longer the primary goal of corporations, and that business can and should be a force for good – for people and the planet. The next question is how all companies can make this switch quickly and throughout their operations. We are focused on accelerating that shift at our summit in December, “Making Capitalism Work for All.” 

“With income inequality and the climate crisis continuing to grow, business needs to work with policymakers in a bipartisan manner to enact reforms that ensure everyone can share in the nation’s economic growth, while we transition to a clean energy economy,” he said. 

ASBC’s annual summit is aimed this year at helping business leaders reshape capitalism to broaden prosperity and better protect the environment. Hollender believes the Business Roundtable statement in support of a stronger focus on all stakeholders is part of a trend among businesses, academics and policymakers to transition away from the short-term, profit-at-all-costs business perspective of the last 40 years.  

One example of the negative effects from the extreme focus on shareholders during the past four decades is the widening gap between average employee pay and CEO pay. A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that since 1978, CEO pay has risen 940 percent, while average pay for employees went up only 12 percent. The president of the EPI, Thea Mei Lee, will be speaking at ASBC’s summit. Other speakers include Chris Lu, Former Deputy Secretary of Labor.  

 “Making Capitalism Work for All,” the ASBC Sustainable Business & Advocacy Summit, will be held in Washington, DC, December 10 and 11, 2019. Information and registration: https://www.asbcouncil.org/asbc-2019-summit

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners, policymakers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 250,000 businesses in a wide range of industries. www.asbcouncil.org