20 Aug American CEOs argue for sustainable economy
Large companies should no longer strive to maximize profits at the expense of their employees or the environment. Instead, they must respect human rights and protect the environment. 181 CEOs of large American multinationals make this call.
The call comes from the Business Roundtable, an American partnership of 192 large American companies. The companies lay down the ‘purpose of a corporation’ in a statement. That goes beyond the American Dream, where making a profit is seen as a big goal. “The American Dream is still alive, but fraying,” says Jamie Dimon, CEO of the American bank JP Morgan Chase. “Large employers invest in employees and communities because they know that this is the only way to be successful in the long term.”
Commitment to stakeholders
The companies all have their own corporate vision, but do share a commitment to all stakeholders, say the CEOs. This means, among other things, that all employees must be paid fairly and have the right to ‘important benefits’. This also includes the education and training of employees for a rapidly changing world. Suppliers must be treated fairly and ethically. “We are determined to act as good partners for the other companies that help us achieve the goal,” the companies write.
Communities are also important for companies. The communities must be respected and the environment must be protected. Companies do this by embracing ‘sustainable working methods’. Shareholders must create value in the long term, because they ensure that companies can invest, grow and innovate.
$ 7 trillion revenue
Among the signatories of the new targets are the CEOs of Amazon, American Express, Boeing, Blackrock, Honeywell, JP Morgan Chase, PWC, UPS and Walmart. The list contains a total of 181 signatures from CEOs. The 192 members of the Business Roundtable have a combined annual turnover of $ 7 bln; more than 15 million people work for the companies.
Calls for sustainable leadership are more common. A few weeks ago, two hundred CEOs of European multinationals called for an overarching European sustainability strategy.