Corporate Governance Business Roundtable Marks Second Anniversary of Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation

Aug 19, 2021

Washington - Today, Business Roundtable marked the second anniversary of the 2019 Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation. On August 19, 2019, nearly 200 CEOs of America’s largest companies committed to delivering long-term value to all of their stakeholders. 

Business Roundtable President & CEO Joshua Bolten released the following statement: 

“Two years ago, Business Roundtable CEOs pledged to run their companies for the long-term benefit of all of their stakeholders – customers, employees, suppliers, the communities in which they operate, and shareholders.  
“The Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation reflected the view of our members that to succeed and profit over the long term, they need to consider the interests of all of their stakeholders – invest in their employees, keep the trust of their customers, partner with their suppliers and be a good member of their communities – all to ensure that their enterprises flourish far into the future. The best modern CEOs have been running their companies in this way for a long time; they signed the Statement as a better public articulation of their long-term focused approach and as a way of challenging themselves to do more.  
“Over the past two years, through unprecedented crises, Business Roundtable companies have embodied the values embedded in the Statement. During times of uncertainty and unrest, we’ve witnessed the best of American ingenuity and innovation and of American companies’ commitment to the long-term interests of their stakeholders. 
“Two years in, Business Roundtable CEOs have strongly demonstrated a commitment to the Statement. They know there is more work to do, and I am confident that they will continue to rise to the challenge.”

In 2020-2021, Business Roundtable member companies:

  • Invested in their employees: Of the Business Roundtable companies that responded to a survey question, 48% of them said that 90% or more of their employees are paid more than the U.S. median wage. 
  • Supported employees and customers: Nearly all companies took additional steps to support their employees and customers during the pandemic. More than 80% expanded paid leave and more than half paid additional bonuses to frontline workers. For example, in 2020, Walmart provided $2.8 billion in total cash bonuses to associates. In addition, nearly two-thirds of companies offered payment flexibility and nearly a third discounted products or services to customers.
  • Partnered with small businesses: On average, Business Roundtable companies contracted with more than 900 small businesses, including those owned by minorities, women and veterans. In addition, 30% of companies worked with more than 2,000 small businesses, 20% worked with more than 3,000 and 17% worked with more than 4,000. Nearly two-thirds of companies spent more than $100 million on products and services from small businesses, with a quarter spending over $1 billion. Many companies have also expedited payments to suppliers during the pandemic.
  • Provided health and other benefits to employees and their families: Some 80% of Business Roundtable companies offer health insurance to both full-time and part-time employees. On average, Roundtable companies covered 80% of employee health care premiums. Nearly all companies offered paid sick leave, and most offer this to all employees. More than half of companies offered subsidized childcare.
  • Committed to addressing the racial wealth gap: Companies have taken important steps to advance racial economic equality in areas like affordable housing and lending and support for community-based financial institutions and minority-owned small businesses. Roundtable companies have committed roughly $50 billion, including $19.2 billion to produce and preserve affordable housing, over $1.8 billion in grants and low-cost debt to Community Development Financial Institutions and $466 million to Minority Depository Institutions. Companies have also committed over $628 million to HBCUs and educational initiatives and over $22 billion to support racial equity and justice initiatives and organizations.
  • In addition, companies are increasing transparency on corporate diversity through voluntary public disclosure metrics. They are also implementing processes to close the pay equity gap, with nearly 90% of companies having conducted a pay equity review in the last three years and nearly all planning to conduct a review in the next three years.
  • Invested in workforce development and expanded opportunity for employees: Over 80 companies are engaging in a multi-year targeted Business Roundtable effort to reform companies’ hiring and talent management practices to emphasize the value of skills, rather than just degrees, and to open their companies to more talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. In addition, 95% of companies offer tuition assistance, benefitting at least 180,000 employees in 2020.
  • Gave generously to their communities: The majority of companies donated more than $22 million in charitable cash contributions and $2.3 million in non-cash contributions in 2020. Nearly three-quarters of companies donated personal protective equipment, or PPE, in response to the pandemic.
  • Delivered strong returns to shareholders: Companies continued to deliver strong returns to shareholders, including the majority of U.S. households who have direct or indirect ownership via pensions, 401(k)s or investment accounts, all of which benefit from dividends and higher stock prices. 

For more on the Business Roundtable Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, click here

Note: The information shared in this release utilizes internal survey data collected and aggregated by Business Roundtable to demonstrate member companies’ broad commitment to all stakeholders.

*This release has been updated to reflect a current $466 million in support to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). Previously, the release mentioned $600 million to MDIs, which is the total Roundtable-wide goal by 2025.

*This release has been updated to reflect that of the Business Roundtable companies that responded to a survey question, 48% of them said that 90% or more of their employees are paid more than the U.S. median wage.