20 Second CSR Wisdom

When I first introduced that (sustainability) report—I think around 2000—I was blasted by the business press. They asked, “Why would you criticize your own performance?” We said in the report, here’s where we’re falling short, here are the challenges ahead of us, and check in with us next year to see how we’re progressing. I personally came under a lot of criticism. People said this was the stupidest thing they had ever seen. They thought I was an idiot. It was very controversial when we did it. Now it’s become much more widely accepted. For us, sustainability in its broadest sense is about economic sustainability. It’s not just about sustainability for environmental reasons—if you don’t have a sustainable business model, none of the rest matters. Sustainability is also about having the right employees.

Building a Sustainable Ford Motor Company: An interview with Bill Ford


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