Barriers in Creating a Sustainable Society

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Barriers in Creating a Sustainable Society

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Short-term financial orientation of the investment community is a great barrier in creating a sustainable society.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 9:30am

Corporate decision makers are increasingly under pressure to meet both investors' expectations of improving future financial performance and the demands of other stakeholders focused on nonfinancial— environmental, social, and governance (ESG)—issues. In the typical situation, improving performance in one dimension means decreased performance in the other—tradeoffs are more common than not. Overcoming these challenges requires innovative processes, products, and business models. In response, Harvard Business School developed Innovating for Sustainability, a program that examines what leading companies are doing to drive long-term profitability by improving their ESG performance.

Vast Pools of Money Still Ignore Sustainable Investing

In this Bloomberg News article, Robert Eccles and George Serafeim—faculty cochairs of Innovating for Sustainability— discuss how the short-term financial orientation of the investment community is one of the greatest barriers we face to creating a sustainable society.

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