Difícil Ser Bueno

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NOVEMBER REPRINT R E

It’s Hard to Be Good
But it’s worth it. Here are five companies whose success is built on responsible business practices. by Alison Beard and Richard Hornik

SPOTLIGHT ON THE GOOD COMPANY

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This document is authorized for use only by GERARDO LOZANO until July 2013. Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860.

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SPOTLIGHT ON THE GOOD COMPANY

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But it’s worth it. Here are five companies whose success is built on responsible business practices. by Alison Beard and Richard Hornik

Spotlight

ARTWORK Sarah Morris, Black Beetle [Origami], 2008 Gloss household paint on wall, installation view

It’s Hard to Be Good

2 Harvard Business Review November 2011 This document is authorized for use only by GERARDO LOZANO until July 2013. Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860.

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ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES, HBR profiles five “good” companies that do more than just pay lip service to community engagement, labor relations, environmental protection, corporate governance, and supply chain accountability. Neither our editors nor the academics we consulted have voted them the world’s most socially responsible corporations. But each excels in one or more of the areas just listed, and does so by making them part of its internal corporate

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November 2011 Harvard Business Review 3 This document is authorized for use only by GERARDO LOZANO until July 2013. Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860.

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logic—something that Rosabeth Moss Kanter argues, in another article in this Spotlight, that all businesses should do. These rms have also succeeded commercially—hard evidence that doing the right thing as a company doesn’t con ict with bottom-line imperatives. As Zhang Yue, the founding chairman of Broad Group, says, “The survival and growth of a company is the same thing as its social responsibility.”

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SPOTLIGHT ON THE GOOD COMPANY

The Experts
Pamela Hartigan is the director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. She is also a founding partner of Volans. Thomas Kochan is the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management and a codirector of the Institute for Work and Employment Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Christopher Marquis is an associate professor in the organizational behavior unit at Harvard Business School. Roger Martin is the dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University. He is also the director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, and the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Royal DSM

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Community Engagement
CORE BUSINESS Chemicals COUNTRY Netherlands YEAR FOUNDED 1902 EMPLOYEES 22,000 NOTABLE STRENGTH

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NOTE ALL TOTAL SHAREHOLDER RETURN FIGURES ARE AS OF AUGUST

4 Harvard Business Review November 2011 This document is authorized for use only by GERARDO LOZANO until July 2013. Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860.

ILLUSTRATION: BRETT AFFRUNTI

Alison Beard is a senior editor, and Richard Hornik is a contributing editor, at HBR. Heather Wang, Meghan Ennes, Erin Rush, and Samantha Presnal provided additional reporting for this article.

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promote long-term corporate success in A DECADE AGO, Royal DSM’s core o erings an increasingly complex global economy. were petrochemicals, plastics, and base The biggest initiative is a partnership with chemicals and materials....
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