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The Inimical Unintended Consequences of Fiduciary Duty, A Business Case for Sustainability

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Pressure from fiduciary duty leads agents within organizational systems to make decisions that result in positive feedback loops that often have inimical unintended consequences. The current corporate climate that often

Pressure from fiduciary duty leads agents within organizational systems to make decisions that result in positive feedback loops that often have inimical unintended consequences. The current corporate climate that often puts the bottom line ahead of environmental and social concerns in the name of fiduciary duty is doing so based on a revised interpretation of the term that is clearly to the benefit of the corporations. It is important to note that this modern interpretation is a radical misinterpretation of the intent of the law as our forefathers defined it. However, in spite of the fact that the modern interpretation is leading to inimical unintended consequences, providing the systems agents with the proper training and tools necessary to recognize the cost benefit of implementing sustainable solutions may mitigate some of these positive feedback loops and their associated unintended consequences. By developing tools based on sustainable frameworks we may be able to return these organizations to the original intent of fiduciary duty, which was designed to encourage investment in organizations that worked for the public benefit. A concept that is remarkably similar to the triple bottom line framework that many sustainability professionals advocate on behalf of today.

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  • 2015-05