[MarketWatch]: The New Left: Corporate America – Picking up the slack on issues from environment to AIDS



Corporate America, it seems, is
charging in where liberal government is refusing to tread, supporting
more social programs to help not only employees but also people in
their community, throughout  the country and all over the world.




Democrats might take note: This may
be the hole in the ‘red state’ defense that could open up the field for
a strong player in the 2008 election.

The article highlights Nike, Gap, Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric,
Hewlett Packard, Home Depot, Starbucks, General Mills and Microsoft as
well out in front of government requirements on issues ranging for gay
rights and labor rights to health care, diversity and the environment.

Take global warming. The entire
semiconductor industry and 50 utilities have voluntarily agreed to
reduce ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions at the same time the U.S. government
refuses to endorse the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for mandated
emission reduction.



I’m not sure I’d use the left-right classification, but the backfield’s
been in motion on this for quite a few years. Many reasons: activist
pressure is one, but only one; employee attraction and retention is
probably far more significant, as are competitiveness and license to
operate issues; direct economic advantages may be harder to prove, but
lots of people — investors as well as managers — are increasingly
sure they’re there.

As I’ve been saying: Boards of Directors, CEOs, and CFOs – not environmentalists – should be leading the sustainability revolution.


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