Chapter 6The Business of Doing Good

What is the role of business today?

The historical answer to this question was quite simple. Develop a strong business, find great people, create great products, and build profit. This equation for success was the mantra for many businesses and continues to be the genesis for success.

Is this wrong?

No, not at all. This type of approach to business has sustained companies for the long haul, weathering the storms of depressions, recessions, and cultural changes. What has been even more interesting about the historical approach to business is that although the focus has been on building an institution that generates profit and great products, there has been a lack of understanding of how that business and its products affect the local areas and communities where it lives. Moreover, there is even greater concern with how those companies treat its employees, the practices it undergoes to create those great products, and whether they are produced in a manner that hurts the environment or community where it is based. Sustainable practices and corporate social responsibility, both terms lauded to cover these areas of concern, have been at the forefront of these companies both at the will of consumers and their employees who today believe that business has a role beyond making money.

Traditional business has also stepped into the social good space by creatively using their products to support and advocate for social issues. From changes in packaging ...

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