Purpose and ESG: Walking the walk or talking the talk?

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Overview

Just over a year ago, CEOs from 181 of the world’s largest companies declared that the purpose of a corporation is “to create value for all our stakeholders” – a notable departure from the shareholder-centric corporate philosophies of the past few decades. Since that landmark Business Roundtable statement, we have seen a swell of corporate purpose statements and responsible business pledges. These commitments to employee health, social justice and carbon reduction are important, but scrutiny in the age of 2020 – from investors and consumers alike – demands that these words translate into actions and impact. As companies evaluate their purpose and fundamental value offering in the context of critical environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives, effective strategies for measurement, management and communication are no longer optional.

Boster Group is one of the world’s leading independent consultancies specialising in the development of innovative partnerships between global corporations, arts institutions and social impact foundations. It has overseen the transfer of more than $75 million to cultural and social impact partners, and delivered measurable results to its clients around the world. For over 20 years, Boster Group has been a trusted advisor to a number of Fortune 500 companies, leveraging its knowledge, expertise and global network to deliver against clients’ business and social impact goals. Boster Group shapes partnerships on the basis of shared values, untapped assets and complementary capabilities. Distinctly, Boster Group measures return on investment for its clients and is focused on the impact of the creative campaigns it develops. Clients include J.P. Morgan, Moët Hennessy, EY, AMEX, BNP Paribas, Diageo, Gap Inc., Insight Investment, HSBC, Bacardi, Montblanc, State Street and Disney. For more information, go to bostergroup.com or follow @BosterGroup on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

POLLING

Has your company made a public commitment to stakeholders beyond just shareholders?
– Yes 60%
– No 0%
– I’m not sure 40%
How would you evaluate your company’s Purpose statement?
– It is the foundation of all of our firm’s processes and impact 25%
– It is the foundation of our ESG processes and impact25%
– The statement itself works well, but it is not demonstrated by our processes and impact 0%
– It needs to be strategically re-evaluated 25%
– We do not have a Purpose statement or equivalent 25%
Do you believe your company is creating a net positive ESG impact?
– Absolutely, and our measurement demonstrates it 20%
– I think so, but we don’t have the measurement to prove it 60%
– Not yet; I think there are more opportunities for us to generate environmental, social or governance value 20&
– No, and I do not think there are more opportunities for us to generate environmental, social or governance value 0%
– I’m not sure 0%
Do you believe that the corporate sector overall is creating a net positive ESG impact?
– Yes 40%
– No 60%
– I’m not sure 0%
What impact do you believe that your company’s ESG strategy and results have on its commercial success?
– A strong positive impact 60%
– A small positive impact 40%
– No impact 0%
– A small negative impact 0%
– A strong negative impact 0%

Sessions

Purpose and ESG: Walking the walk or talking the talk?

Just over a year ago, CEOs from 181 of the world’s largest companies declared that the purpose of a corporation is “to create value for…

Speakers

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Susan Boster

Founder and CEO Boster Group

Anne Marie Verstraeten

UK Country Head BNP Paribas Group

Chuka Umunna

Executive Director & Head of ESG, EMEA Edelman