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#MPC23 | The Power of & Brings Profitability,

Michigan Business Network
June 1, 2023 3:00 PM


Growth, and Sustainability

Key Takeaways

  • The public and private sectors can — and must — work together using the “Power of &” to speed progress in sustainability and profits. They’re not mutually exclusive. 
  • Diversity of representation helps drive company culture and should be reflective of a company’s client base. 
  • Sustainability makes economic sense.

Capitalism is not a dirty word; in fact, the demand for sustainability, equity, and energy justice is what now drives company profits around the world. This, said Brian Moynihan, Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America, is what “the Power of &” means for businesses looking to the future. 

In his keynote address at the Michigan Policy Conference on May 31, Moynihan tackled the challenges banks and private businesses face in a world of economic uncertainty and rapid energy transitions. “Capitalism, to the private sector, delivers for customers,” he said. “It does for society, it does for shareholders, and it does for your teammates. And when capitalism is enhanced by the public sector, it can work even faster and better. That’s what we call ‘the genius of the &’. It’s the power of the private sector and the public sector working together. You can do both: it’s not a false choice. It simply is capitalism done right.” 

In his interview with Bank of America Michigan President and 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference Chair Matt Elliott, Moynihan stressed the importance of creating a company culture that celebrates the diversity of its global employees and customers. “Our customers look like the world,” he said. “We have to look like the world.”  

Moynihan also emphasized that sustainability in practice makes economic sense and that businesses no longer face an either/or difference between sustainability and profit. Since so many companies and governments have committed to sustainable energy use and to net zero carbon emissions, he said, “if you’re in the supply chain and the person you’re supplying to is Net Zero, then you need to be.” 

Finally, Moynihan addressed the power of public-private partnerships to drive economic growth. When one government office purchases a fleet of green vehicles, for example, that state-level demand drives the needle of sustainable progress and innovation. “It can work if somebody buys enough [sustainable vehicles] to get it started,” he said. “It takes the government to kick off the purchase. That’s more powerful than other things because governments can create the market.” 

This Mackinac Policy Conference session was sponsored by Business Leaders for Michigan. 

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Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.