Companies who are socially and environmentally conscious have a clearly defined commercial advantage, according to a 2021-released Deloitte report titled The purpose premium.
Benefits include attracting and retaining the best workers, improving brand recognition, offering resilience in the face of negativity, driving productivity, and much more.
Realising this, companies are increasingly making purpose-driven commitments and strategic shifts to differentiate themselves in the market.
While Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) are not new, there is increasing consumer and employee/employer demand for companies with purpose. This requires companies ensure their activities and internal processes are consistent with their stated positions and values, according to the Deloitte report.
Paul Dunn, the co-founder of global giving initiative, B1G1 has noticed a shift that began in the last decade and has increasingly gained momentum in recent years as sustainability has become a global focus.
“Historically, CSR or ESG initiatives have often been PR-focussed, or almost afterthoughts for shareholder reports. However, that has changed,” Paul said.
“Today, purpose must be a central part of the business. It cannot be an off-the-cuff ‘charity event’ where you get dressed up and feel good for 24 hours,” he said, adding that today’s savvy consumers and employees will see through this façade, and it may do more harm than good.
“You must stand for something that is bigger than yourself and embed that in the entire business. That is how you become a magnet for amazing talent who have strong ethical and moral values.”
It will also help you win business. Increasingly, government and private sector tenders – in Australia and around the world – are requiring applicants to show how their social or environmental strategies to have any chance at winning the tender.
Consumers too are voting with their wallets and are four times more likely to purchase from a company who they perceive as having a strong purpose, while the majority of people would pay a premium for sustainable products, according to the Deloitte report.
How can you implement purpose in your company?
Implementing purpose and a social and environmentally conscious strategy in your business does not need to be a huge burden on resources, according to Paul, who suggests simply doing something to seed change.
An easy way to start is with Be Challenged’s new Impact Online team building program, which is an engaging and inspiring remote team building activity built around the internationally agreed-upon 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Impact Online program is designed to deliver to participants an understanding of the blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.
Following the program, participants are encouraged to complete a 30-day challenge focusing on two or three of the SGDs. Impact Online also delivers real contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals through B1G1, use three contribution ‘bundles’: Active Economy, Beautiful Society and Clean Earth.
Managed and driven through Be Challenged’s proprietary app, Go Team, this follow-up helps reinforce messaging and positive outcomes gained from the program and creates positive long-lasting habits that can inspire others and further seed organisational change.
Growing With Purpose
Once people see their business doing good it inspires them to implement similar measures in their teams or personal life, Paul said, describing group think.
The next step is often to partner with an organisation like B1G1 who helps business owners and their teams create and embed purpose in their organisation.
“We help businesses take standard, everyday business activities such as sending an email or subscribing to a newsletter and link them directly to make measurable contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals,” Paul said.
“These breaks things down into small actions that collectively make a big difference. It significantly lifts employee engagement and helps business connect so much more with their customers..”
See more insight into the B1G1 giving model here and/or enquire about Be Challenged’s Impact Online program here.