Steven Pearlstein missed the main point of the Business Roundtable's SEE Change initiative ["Social Responsibility Doesn't Much Sway the Balance Sheet," Business, Oct. 5].

The initiative is not about corporate social responsibility but sustainability. Sustainability is no longer a trade-off between what's good for business and what's good for the environment. Leading-edge practices and products must accomplish both. Sustainability must be built into the products we create and the processes we use to create them.

Under this initiative, our companies will measure what they are doing and communicate this to the public. They also will learn from one another about what works.

Mr. Pearlstein said "old-fashioned government regulation" is the fair and reliable way to a better world. Sometimes. But regulation often is just the floor of what can and needs to be accomplished. Regulation levels the field and seeks to prevent harm. Sustainable innovation, on the other hand, seeks to provide solutions.

We don't see sustainable growth as "do-goodism." Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Wilmington, Del.

The writer, chairman and chief executive of DuPont, is also chairman of the Business Roundtable's Environment, Technology and the Economy Task Force.