Almost 200 CEOs at The Business Roundtable, a meeting of executives from corporations like JPMorgan, Apple and Amazon, have redefined the “purpose of a corporation,” according to a report by CNBC.
The organizations released a joint statement on Monday (Aug. 19), signed by 181 CEOs, refuting the idea that a corporation’s most important ideation is serving its shareholders and maximizing profits.
The statement says corporations should provide value to customers, invest in employees, handle suppliers with integrity and show support for outside communities.
“While each of our individual companies serves its own corporate purpose, we share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders,” the statement said. “We commit to deliver[ing] value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities and our country.”
Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co, commented on the state of American ideals.
“The American dream is alive, but fraying,” he said. “Major employers are investing in their workers and communities because they know it is the only way to be successful over the long term. These modernized principles reflect the business community’s unwavering commitment to continue to push for an economy that serves all Americans.”
The statement also said all Americans should have access to an economy that allows everyone to succeed through hard work and creativity, so they can have a life of meaning and dignity.
“We believe the free-market system is the best means of generating good jobs, a strong and sustainable economy, innovation, a healthy environment and economic opportunity for all,” the statement said. “Businesses play a vital role in the economy by creating jobs, fostering innovation and providing essential goods and services. Businesses make and sell consumer products; manufacture equipment and vehicles; support the national defense; grow and produce food; provide healthcare; generate and deliver energy; and offer financial, communications and other services that underpin economic growth.”
The statement also mentioned the need to help the environment: “We respect the people in our communities and protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.”