The B Team welcomes Vice President Biden’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week, “How Short-Termism Saps the Economy,” which recognizes that short-termism often impedes businesses from helping to solve the defining environmental and social problems of the 21st century.
Business models and investment strategies that incorporate environmental and social purpose with long-term thinking can deliver profit while simultaneously benefiting people and planet.
We see business as the driving force behind this radical shift toward more long-term, sustainable change. Yet, government must play a large and supporting role. As the Vice President recognizes, the government has a role to play both to foster long-term investment in infrastructure, research, and innovation, and also in the regulations it promotes for businesses. We need governments to make long-term investments to develop new clean energy technologies. We need governments to put policies in place which support a sustainable future.
Long-term thinking should not be regarded as an onus on business or government, but as a tool for unlocking significant economic and social development opportunities. We must challenge the status quo that is driven by short-term financial results and make decisions with longer-term gains and impacts in mind. To echo the Vice President’s words, we believe “the future of the economy depends on it.”