The Truth is Powerful

U-M task force launches with aim to help corporations act responsibly in politics and beyond

FACULTY Q&A

Corporations like to make statements about their responsibility to society, but follow-through is sometimes lacking.

The Erb Institute —a partnership between the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan—has launched an effort to bridge that gap.

The institute’s new Corporate Political Responsibility Taskforce will develop a set of principles to guide companies in doing the right thing. Erb Faculty Director Tom Lyon discusses the initiative and what impact it can have on current and future generations.

What led to the formation of the task force?

It came out of a retreat that was organized through the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, of which I’m currently the president. We recognized the need for business to follow the adage “First do no harm,” and the place where we were concerned that some businesses have been doing harm toward sustainability is in politics—lobbying against change, blocking improvements in environmental regulation, and in particular blocking progress on climate policy.We followed up with a paper titled “ CSR Needs CPR “—a declaration, if you will, that we need to expand our definition of corporate social responsibility to incorporate what companies do in the political […]

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