Corporate Sustainability—the New Mandate
Studies demonstrate that firms that integrate corporate sustainability into their business strategy perform better financially than those that do not.

Studies demonstrate that firms that integrate corporate sustainability into their business strategy perform better financially than those that do not.

12th September 2017

Jerry Haar and Carlos Parra

Is the exclusive aim of the corporation to maximize profit and shareholder value or does it have an obligation to do more? This question—and dilemma—has been vigorously debated since Milton Friedman posed that the only responsibility of business should be business.
This crucible is now a moot issue. For it is commonly accepted that while corporate growth and profitability are important, corporations should go beyond financial viability and act as environmental stewards, promote social responsibility, justice and equity, advance economic development, while exhibiting exemplary ethical behavior, transparency and accountability.
Edward Freeman proposed to understand corporate sustainability as aligning an organization’s products and services with stakeholder expectations, thereby adding economic, environmental and social value.

There are a number of drivers that have contributed to wider spread of corporate thought and action with respect to sustainability in Latin America. These include economic liberalization and the need to compete by operating according to international standards and benchmarks set by global corporations and an environment of greater political and economic stability.

In Latin-America multi-sector partnerships involving the public sector as well as non-profit organizations and multilateral agencies have allowed private sector actors to leverage common resources and exploit synergies in a manner that benefits all. For …

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