Around 200 chief executives, including leaders at Apple, Pepsi, Walmart, and JP Morgan, have redefined the purpose of a corporation, according to The New York Times.
The Business Roundtable issued a statement on a corporation’s purpose, arguing that companies shouldn’t only focus on the interest of shareholders, but also invest in their employees, protect the environment, and deal ethically with suppliers.
The group is a lobbying organization that represents many of America’s largest companies. The shift in decades of long-held corporate orthodoxy is a shift to focus more on the needs and interests of all instead of just shareholders.
The group’s statement said, “While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.”
The move puts more responsibility onto corporations at least at an ideological level. The announcement comes at a time when large corporations have been under scrutiny for income inequality, harmful products, poor working conditions, and monopolization.