Last week, we witnessed a relevant example of public involvement by the corporate community, in controversial social and governance issues, despite potential negative business and/or political repercussions for them.
145 corporate leaders sent a letter to the US Senate urging it “to stand with the American public and take action on gun safety” by expanding background checks on all gun sales and strengthening guns laws to allow courts to issue life-saving extreme risk protection orders.
This statement follows recent actions from Walmart, which decided not to wait for the US Congress to take action and tightened its policies on gun sales. Walmart also started asking customers not to openly carry firearms in the store, and so did Walgreens and CVS.
For a CEO and Board to take a public stand in controversial and highly political issues, is not an easy decision and is not exempt of risks from a business perspective.
I wonder if these 145 companies were encouraged by the recent announcement from the Business Roundtable, releasing new #Statement on the Purpose of the Corporation that sustains that corporation should be led, not only for the benefit of the stockholders, but of all stakeholders: customers, employees, providers and – as in this case – the overall society.
Note that none of these 145 companies was a signatory of the referred statement, but they have certainly set a positive example for more companies to adopt!
For more on the #BusinessRoundtable statement, see my previous note.