The thing that surprised me when I first figured it out is that most big companies actually do want to improve the world, because they live here, too. Many of them also care about the health and welfare of their employees. So most of the companies that I have dealt with are very environmentally friendly. They run into two problems, though. One is that they may want to implement pollution controls, but the cost of doing that is not zero, and if their competition does not have to implement those controls, then they will have a price disadvantage. This is why anti-pollution laws need to apply to everyone equally.
The second problem that they run into is absentee governance, usually in the form of institutions (or worse, a couple of asshole brothers) holding a large share of the company's stock. In this case, the owners can tell the management to produce a profit or they will be replaced by someone who will produce a profit, and they don't care how that profit is made. In these cases, the managers can want to do the right thing, but they also know that if they don't produce, then they will be replaced by someone with lower ethical standards.
That's where we are today.
P.S. I think most businesses have an incredibly hard time getting off the ground because:
1. the new managers are inexperienced.
2. If the company is selling a new product, the company has extra expenses in the form of educating the customer as to why they should buy the product.
3. If the company is competing in a mature market, the big three (or two) have the market pretty much sewn up and are very experienced at crushing competition at all levels.
If you ask new company managers what their biggest problems are, I think you will find that "pollution controls" isn't in the top ten items.