Summary of Optimize For Both Social and Business Value

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If you entered the business world 30 or even 20 years ago, chances are that profitability was your highest – or perhaps only – priority. Things have changed, as consumers, investors, employees and all other stakeholders now demand that companies make a positive impact on society. And the staggering impact of social media means that you can’t just create a highly-visible illusion of social responsibility that’s low on substance. You’ve got to actually deliver the goods. This Boston Consulting Group Henderson Institute report will give you some idea of how to provide value in the new roaring, but socially responsible, twenties.

About the Authors

David Young, Wendy Woods and Martin Reeves contribute to BCG Henderson Institute, the Boston Consulting Group’s strategy think tank.



Companies are increasingly integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into their decision-making and performance metrics.

Goal 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 suggests that the business world needs to take “collective action across the public, social, and private sectors.” Companies appear to be complying with this call to action, whether they’re responding to the SDGs or whether they just have an ear to the ground. Either way, it’s an early sign that the business context is, once again, shifting. Committing to improvement helps, but the companies that triumph will be the ones that demonstrate measurable progress in “reducing CO2 emissions, cutting...

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