Corporate responsibility must be profitable says Michael Skapinker

Writing in the Financial Times today, Michael Skapinker is concerned about the sustainability of corporate responsibility.

Shoemaker Timberland was acquired by VF Corporation for $2.3 billion last week. Despite pledging to maintain its positive working environment, VF executives spoke of raising profit margins from 9% to 20%. Solar panels and vegetable patches, schemes implemented by CEO Jerry Schwartz before the takeover, project a positive image, but don’t sell shoes.

 

Corporate responsibility must be profitable says Michael Skapinker

Vegetable patches don't sell shoes

The Timberland lesson: corporate responsibility can survive only if it improves the financial outcome.

Michael Skapinker is an assistant editor of the Financial Times, a columnist and the editor of the FT’s special reports. As a speaker he concentrates on business strategy, leadership and management.

 

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