The only son of Vilem and Charlotte Willer, Alfred had a happy childhood in Kaznějov, where his father, one of the creators of the formulas for synthetic citric acid, worked at the Poldi Steelworks. Following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, Vilem was fired from his job and the family was forced to move in with Jewish friends in Prague. The friends, the Epsteins, were deported to Auschwitz in 1942. Alfred’s paternal grandmother Theresa was deported to Theresienstadt, where she died of typhoid. Of all of Alfred’s many Jewish summer camp friends, he was the only one left.
Sustainability . Sustainability is a notion that proposes that socially responsible firms will somehow financially outperform other less responsible firms in the long run. This might result from customer loyalty, better employee morale, or public policy favoring ethical conduct. Empirical results testing this hypothesis are mixed, neither suggesting that more responsible firms, on the average, have a clear financial advantage nor a large burden. Thus, a useful approach may be to determine (1) specific circumstances under which a firm may actually find the more responsible approach to be more profitable, (2) under which circumstances responsible behavior can be pursued without an overall significant downside, and (3) the ethical responsibilities that a firm faces when a more responsible approach may be more costly.