- This leads, for example, to a lack of climate-friendly investments and exacerbates social inequality.
- The new German government could hold large corporations more accountable by, among other things, limiting payouts and ensuring diverse representation of interests.
Corporations primarily serve the interest of shareholders
Between 2009 and 2020, the profits of the companies studied increased by 48 percent. This results in financial leeway, which corporations could use in different ways: It is up to them, whether they invest in more sustainable business models, pay employees higher wages, build up reserves or pay dividends to shareholders.
The report shows: The companies studied used their profits primarily to serve shareholder interests and build reserves. In the period under review, for example, dividend payments increased by 85 percent, significantly more than profits.
Some companies even paid dividends in loss-making years. These include RWE and E.ON – although it is precisely these energy companies that have an immense need to invest in the ecological transformation.