Philip Morris International's Statement of Purpose Moves a Step Closer to Action & Sets Example for Others

By Sarah Bostwick Stromoski Senior Manager, CEO Engagement, CEO Investor Forum
Oct 1, 2020 12:00 PM ET

The Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation in August 2019 elicited many “nice start, what’s next?” reactions. In their article, “3 Ways to Put Your Corporate Purpose into Action,” Professor Bob Eccles and his co-authors recommended companies publish their corporate purpose in a formal Statement of Purpose signed by the board of directors in an integrated report. Recently, Philip Morris International (PMI) became the second firm – and the first incorporated in the US – to do so after Swedish private equity firm EQT (see p. 111 of its Annual Report 2019). Released in June 2020, PMI’s Integrated Report 2019 “Progress Toward a World Without Cigarettes” described the Statement of Purpose on p. 8 as:

“…a declaration, issued by a company’s board of directors, that clearly articulates the company’s purpose and how to harmonize commercial success with social accountability and responsibility. It specifies within that purpose those stakeholders most critical to long-term value creation and sustainability.”

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