If business could stimulate social progress in every region of the globe, poverty, pollution, and disease would decline and corporate profits would rise. Indeed, in recent years creating shared value—pursuing financial success in a way that also yields societal benefits—has become an imperative for corporations, for two reasons. The legitimacy of business has been sharply called into question, with companies seen as prospering at the expense of the broader community. At the same time, many of the world’s problems, from income inequality to climate change, are so far-reaching that solutions require the expertise and scalable business models of the private sector. Even corporations once known for a hard-nosed approach have embarked on significant shared value initiatives.
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