Business Roundtable Corporate: America taking a stand on Climate Change!
September 20th 2020
Business Roundtable is an association of CEOs of America’s leading companies, where key corporate trends are dealt with and, from time to time, relevant statements are issued. This was the case with the statement August last year when they came public, with the now famous sentence “companies need a purpose beyond profit”, redefining the role of business in society as serving all stakeholders, thus breaking with decades of the Friedman’s shareholder value focus ("all that companies should focus on is profit"). This Thursday, another powerful and impactful statement, now on Climate Change, was issued, releasing new principles and policies to address climate change, including the use of a market-based strategy that includes a price on carbon “where feasible and effective”. Adding, “such a strategy would incentivize the development and deployment of breakthrough technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions”. “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the planet today, and we believe businesses are an essential part of the solution,” said Doug McMillon, President & Chief Executive Officer of Walmart and Chairman of Business Roundtable. “Representing more than 200 CEOs from America’s leading companies, the new Business Roundtable position on climate change reflects our belief that a national market-based emissions reduction policy is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to levels designed to avoid the worst effects and mitigate the impacts of climate change.” It is quite reassuring that “Corporate America” is not dominated by the current American political “state of the art”. A price on carbon that has impact on resource allocation decisions by companies is a first but important step in considering the negative externality that carbon emissions generate for the planet and for the well-being of our civilization. Have a great and Impactful week! Nuno Moreira da Cruz Executive Director Center for Responsible Business & Leadership