Corporate responsibility and core business

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Via WBCSD, a thoughtful essay from John S. McLenahen:

In a late-August report, the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group, lauded five companies, including HP and P&G, for integrating the reporting of their corporate citizenship efforts into their basic business missions. That's significant, for there's a danger that the company social responsibility reports now piling up could become simply page after page of listed good deeds, words not matched within the company by the true creation of capitalism that has a conscience.

My own view, corporate responsibility is important but those lists of good deeds are a distraction. The big social benefits of a business are the jobs it creates and the good things it produces for people to enjoy. We still struggle with the idea that profits come when someone is willing to pay more for something than it cost to create. That is not such a bad thing. If it can be done responsibly, even better.

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