‘Purpose’ and ‘ESG’ (environmental, social and governance) are buzzwords on everyone’s lips. We all know, don’t we, that companies aren’t just about making money any more.
Surely, then, shareholders must be content with lower returns as companies spread the goodies more widely in society, as good corporate citizens must.
“It’s not about shareholder value any more” as I heard one chief executive put it recently. Companies have rushed to craft uplifting purpose statements, and an ‘ESG strategy’, to sit (often uneasily) alongside their commercial strategy. Surely this is all to the good?
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