2. Inside ESG: Can businesses really marry profit and purpose?
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Milton Friedman, the renowned American economist and spiritual mentor of many entrepreneurs, argued that the social responsibility of business was to increase profits. This has been the gospel since the early 1970s, but companies and investors are beginning to rethink the purpose of business. Has the sun really set on the Miltonian era?
In the second episode of our special five-part series produced in partnership with the Moral Money team, Leila Abboud, the FT’s Paris correspondent, and Gillian Tett, the FT’s US editor-at-large, tell the story of Emmanuel Faber, the former CEO of Danone who embraced environmental, social and governance (ESG) causes - and then was ousted eight years later. Turns out there was more to the story than first meets the eye.
The fall from favour of Danone’s purpose-driven chief
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