By Ross Kohan
September 8, 2016

Businesses all across the country are stepping up their game when it comes to doing good for society. There’s a new commitment and definition of a corporation’s “social responsibility”. Leaders everywhere are going beyond doing good through traditional corporate philanthropy, charitable donations and community service. Now they are integrating the core mission and strategies of their businesses on the social impact they have on their communities and the environment.

“People care about what we do. They care about how we support the communities we serve,” Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib. “We’re trying to develop solutions to problems. We’re a partner to our communities and our customers in a way that goes beyond just a delivery of energy.”

This trend has a name: “leading with purpose.” And it is a common theme that Gharib discovered from a series of CEO interviews she conducted in partnership with The Aspen Institute Business and Society Program (

In this segment, three CEOs talk about why American businesses are shifting their focus to helping their communities and their customers: James Verrier of Borg Warner; Seventh Generation’s John Replogle; and Duke Energy’s Lynn Good.

Verrier, who runs one of the world’s largest suppliers of auto parts, put it this way: “I see a lot of activity of helping people in India and China with water projects that have nothing to do with automotive. They’re just good good societal things that are helping people in the community where our employees work, to lead a better life. And for me that’s good. I mean, it’s good.”


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