Is the goal of a business simply to maximize profits for its owners? Why or why not?

When we look at the world around us, we can observe that there are big corporates that are functional on national and international levels looking to maximize their profits by increasing their sales and attracting as many consumers as possible. They may not be involved in the best business practices when they are trying to maximize their profits. They may not be using proper environmental protection techniques to save the environment from being damages. They may also not be honest in their advertisement and use false claims. When such situation is observed, what comes to mind is that the goal of a business is to simply maximize profits for its owners and investors. But I personally disagree to this notion. I am of the view that businesses must be able to look beyond profits and towards sustainability. When business sustainability is a goal side by side maximizing profit goals, there would be a better realization of the business ethics which might seem to be an option otherwise. My opinion is that to be able to earn profits in the long term, the short term focus on maximizing profits should be avoided. Huge corporations have many valuable resources that they can use for the betterment of the societies that they operate in. There are definitely things that are legal which would help in maximizing profits but are they ethical? Desjardins (2014) suggests that business ethics must be followed at any cost.

We share a common world and its environment. Individuals cannot make an impact as businesses can make, be it a negative or a positive impact. Businesses should invest in researches that can serve the mankind and other living things and which might not yield profits in the short term. I do not say that businesses should not look for immediate profits but they should have programs where they allocate some of their profits for the social welfare that could also bring in profits in the long run.