Incorporating Sustainability into Corporate Finance
Corporate Finance Issue 07-08 p. 242- 247
In the transition to a sustainable economy, companies are increasingly adopting the goal of long-term value creation, which integrates financial, social and environmental value. That raises the fundamental question in corporate finance about the objective of the corporation. The current objective is maximising profit, which boils down to maximising shareholder value. But the shareholder model is holding companies back from sustainable business practices. An alternative view is to broaden the objective of the corporate to optimising the integrated value, which combines the financial, social and environmental value. In that way, the interests of current (and future) stakeholders are ranked equally. Such a move to the stakeholder model requires new rules for corporate governance and decision-making on corporate investments to deal with the various interests of the stakeholders.