Matten on Sustainability in Business

Dirk MattenHere’s an 15-minute video of Prof Dirk Matten on sustainability in business. Here’s a quote from somewhere near the middle:

“…The interesting and certainly contentious side of the debate of course is the question, what are the obligations of business? Is there — beyond compliance, and beyond seeking profits, and being economically successful with regard to sustainability issues — is there an obligation in itself for companies to be more sustainable? And that’s a contentious question, it depends who you ask in a business school, who would say ‘no no beyond profit maximization there’s no role for business to play.’ Whereas others would say that business by dint of its size, its influence, its power, has an independent moral obligation to advance this [sustainability] agenda. And there are examples out there. If you think of companies like Unilever and a number of Danish companies in that spot, too, where business leaders see themselves in a role that it falls to them to lead into a direction that is not just something business should do because there are economic reasons to do so, but because it’s the right thing to do…”

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