What is a 'Social Good'

A good or service that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way. Some classic examples of social goods are clean air, clean water and literacy; in addition, many economic proponents include access to services such as healthcare in their definition of the social or "common good".

BREAKING DOWN 'Social Good'

The capitalism-based definition of business states that companies exist only to provide the maximum possible return to shareholders. This has often not run parallel to serving the common good in ways such as promoting clean air and water, and financial independence for all citizens. As corporations focus more on corporate sustainability efforts and social responsibility, their business models may expand to include more social goods in their day-to-day strategies and operations.

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