WHAT IS BUSINESS FOR GOOD?
What is your company for beyond making profit? Lead with a social or environmental purpose that engages and inspires your workforce and customers:
Identify a problem, a vision for what it looks like when solved and take steps through your business to achieve it.
Examples of business purpose:
- Unilever – “Make sustainable living commonplace”
- Ella’s Kitchen – “Improve children’s lives through developing healthy relationships with food”
- YOTI – “To leverage the potential of digital identity solutions to help drive positive social and environmental change for everyone, everywhere”
Take consideration of the positive impact you can have on your key stakeholders across your business:
- Staff – Salary/contract considerations, benefits, professional development, engagement and empowerment.
- Community – Social impact projects, donations to causes, using local and ethical suppliers.
- Environment – Green building standards, product and packaging lifecycle, energy usage, renewable energy, waste.
- Clients – Quality control, customer service, ethical marketing, privacy and security, continuous improvement.
WHO IS DOING BUSINESS FOR GOOD?
HOW DO YOU BALANCE PURPOSE AND PROFIT?
CREATE A BUSINESS PEOPLE CAN GET BEHIND
- “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe” (Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
- A global study of high growth in companies found those with a “purpose strategy generate sustained profitable growth, stay relevant in a rapidly changing world, and deepen ties with their stakeholders” (Business Transformation Initiative at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland)
UNLEASH THE ENERGY OF YOUR WORKFORCE
- “Purpose-led company staff are more positive, more engaged and have greater career confidence” (YouGov Survey ‘The Courage of their Convictions’)
- Employees’ expectation that prospective employers will join them in taking action on societal issues at 67% is nearly as high as their expectations of personal empowerment at 74% and job opportunity at 80% (Edelman Trust Barometer)
ENGAGE CUSTOMERS WHO WANT BUSINESS TO BE A FORCE FOR GOOD
- In the Deloitte Millennial Survey 37% of Millenials and Gen Z said “they have stopped or lessened a business relationship because of the company’s ethical behavior” and “36% started/deepened a relationship because they believed a company was ethical”
- More companies are looking for ethical suppliers. Initiatives like the Social Value Act, Buy Social Corporate Challenge and BCorps are giving companies that do good the advantage in winning new business
BUILD TRUST WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES
- 60% of people agree that “a good reputation may get me to try a product but unless I come to trust the company behind the product, I will soon stop buying it” (Edelman Trust Barometer)
- The same survey demonstrates that 73% of people “believe a company can take specific actions that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the communities where it operates” and 76% believe “CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for the government to impose it”
BE ATTRACTIVE TO INVESTORS
- There is a growing demand for ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) investment funds to meet investor demands. “Globally, over half of asset owners are currently implementing or evaluating ESG considerations in their investment strategy”(FTSE Russell)
- Research on the Investor Revolution featured in Harvard Business Review suggests “corporate leaders will soon be held accountable by shareholders for ESG performance—if they aren’t already”
STAY AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION AND JOIN THE MANY COMPANIES ALREADY TAKING ACTION
- A YPO Global Leadership Survey found 73% of CXOs said their organisations had changed or developed products or services in the past year to generate positive societal impact
- Companies across the country are using their business as a force for good including pledging to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, adopting circular economy business models, becoming BCorps, commiting to UN Sustainable Development Goals
“Companies that do not start paying more attention to their own staff, the communities they serve, and the environment as a whole, simply will not survive to be the companies of the future” Andrew Hill, Financial Times