To understand why this is, simply think about what things would be like if companies always put profits first. You can think of many examples in which people would be badly harmed in the pursuit of profits.
For example, you could have situations such as those that arise quite often in China. There, coal mines have very poor safety precautions and there are many deaths among the miners on a regular basis. This is the sort of thing that can happen when firms put profits before people. You can also think of this in terms of harms that can come to consumers. Firms that sell things that are or can be harmful to consumers can end up doing harm to those consumers simply so that they can gain higher profits.
Profit before people spells disaster. BP's oil spill should be a time of reflection. This idea of profit before people is ludicrous, why should our air and food resources be in jeopardy because of greed? Because of this asinine idea 'that money rules' our environment will be in ruins for many, many years and only time will tell the end result.
Mother earth is crying out "no more abuse, no more!"
Marvin Gaye wrote wrote some awesome lyrics: Mercy, Mercy, Me
'Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas, fish full of mercury and what about this overcrowed land, how much more abuse from man can she stand?'