What is the True Business of a Business?

Proper sustainability practices can be blamed for many of today’s business upward mobility. It is Andrew Savitz that describe sustainability as “the common ground shared by business interest and the interest of the public”. This is to enable businesses to gain profits while ensuring that human beings are satisfied and able to enjoy a clean healthy environment. Therefore, this requires companies going ‘green’; it requires practices which are socially and environmentally friendly; practices that are guaranteed to bring long term success to any business. However, there are some argue that businesses should not have social and environmental responsibilities.

In “The Backlash Against Sustainability (chapter 5- TBL)” Andrew Savitz describes these people as the ‘skeptics’. They argue against the idea of sustainability in general and believe that the aim of profitability should be the goal a business. It is their belief that the government should be held responsible for the social aspects of business. Furthermore, Milton Friedman is one skeptic who strongly believes that the business of a business is to use its resources to maximize profits. He, like other skeptics, would add that anything other than profitability would be a distraction to the business.With that said, what is the true business of a business? Is it to meet the “sweet spot” in society? Is it supposed to be based solely on profitability?

The article entitled “Milton Friedman was wrong: Corporations do have social responsibility” summarizes the answer to our curiosity. It too highlights that, Mr. freeman does enforce profitability over the overall environmental well being on the condition that social welfare is government based, ‘which safeguard the commons by enacting laws and regulatons’. It further went on to state that there are businesses which followed through with ‘Friedman’s restricted definition of corporate responsibility’. However, many are now aware of sustainability rewards to both the business and community. Therefore, it teaches that, indeed, businesses should be concerned about social and environmental welfare of a business.

I do appreciate this article because it zoom in on different perspectives and successfully highlights the importance of sustainability practices. It also teaches that there will be people with contradicting views but we should always focus on how everyone, from stakeholders to customers, can benefit from a business venture. In addition, we can easily conclude that the business of a business is not ‘business’ , as the skeptics do believe, but it is the environamnet on a whole. In other words once the environment is taken care of socially and economically then the business with automatically be on its path to success.


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