An overwhelming majority of business leaders are waking up to the fact that companies really do need to care about more than just profits.
And this isn’t just because they feel a moral responsibility. It’s now becoming indisputably clear that prioritising people, the planet, and profit actually pays off in more ways than one.
But why do businesses suddenly care about the triple bottom line?
And where’s the proof that it pays for businesses to do the right thing?
We’ve found 26 CSR statistics that prove it makes sense for companies to focus on the triple bottom line. We wrapped them all up in a CSR infographic.
Skip to the end of this post to check it out or click here for the full-resolution version.
7 reasons from our CSR infographic for companies to prioritise purpose and corporate social responsibility
We reviewed 15 reports from top research firms and communications leaders and found seven big reasons that companies are increasing their investments in purpose and CSR programs.
Here’s what it boils down to.
- The majority of business leaders now believe in the power of CSR.
- Companies that invest in the triple bottom line (people, planet, and profit) grow faster.
- Putting purpose first increases brand value.
- A strong CSR commitment boosts everything from share price to revenue to productivity.
- Consumers prefer to buy from purpose-driven companies.
- Employees want to work for companies that have a strong purpose.
- Investors expect companies to prioritise the triple bottom line.
Let’s look at the data from our CSR infographic that backs this up.
Reason #1: Most business leaders believe in the power of CSR.
On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, Porter Novelli launched its first Executive Purpose Study to understand how many business leaders had really bought into the importance of company purpose. The response was surprising, even to them.
An overwhelming majority of business executives—9 out of 10—believe that purpose may just be the competitive advantage their companies need to thrive in today’s business landscape.
- 91% of business leaders believe business must benefit all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
- 85% say companies must positively impact society as well.
- 89% believe companies that lead with purpose have a competitive advantage.
This is great news for CSR leaders who have had some challenges getting buy-in from company execs.
Reason #2: Companies that invest in the triple bottom line grow faster.
It’s heartening to see that when businesses invest in prioritising people and the planet, their profits grow as a result. We see the proof of this across B Corps and non-B Corps alike.
(If you’re not yet familiar with Certified B Corporations, they’re companies verified to meet high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. Check out B Lab UK to learn more.)
- Research from B Lab shows that B Corp businesses in the UK grow 28x faster than the national average.
- Kenexa High Performance Institute analysed the financial metrics of 175 companies to find that those committed to CSR generate 19x higher returns.
If your business is ready to exponentially grow revenue, it seems that doubling down on CSR efforts is the way to go.
Reason #3: Putting purpose first increases brand value.
World Economic Forum puts out an annual Global Risks Report that surveys hundreds of experts from industry, government, academia, and civil organisations to examine global business risks. They found that 25% of a company’s market value is based on its reputation.
And while measuring brand value can be tricky, Kantar does a solid job at this every year with its Most Valuable Global Brands Report. Last year’s report shows that brands that put in the effort to create a positive impact on people’s lives have 2.5x more brand value.
Reason #4: A strong CSR commitment increases everything from share price to revenue to productivity.
IO Sustainability and Babson Social Innovation Project teamed up to conduct a study of publicly traded companies that measured the financial advantages of CSR strategies. Companies that are committed to CSR increase everything from productivity and revenue to share price and shareholder value.
Project ROI: Corporate Responsibility revealed the following CSR data:
- £1.28 billion higher shareholder value over 15 years
- 4 to 6% higher share price
- Up to 20% more revenue
- Up to 13% more productivity
Reason #5: Consumers prefer purpose-driven companies.
One of the most important reasons for businesses to prioritise purpose is because it’s what their customers want. As Millennials and Gen Z develop their buying power, company purpose is more important than ever.
If consumers believe you have a worthy purpose, they’ll buy more from you, trust you more, and recommend you to more people.
Zeno Group’s Strength of Purpose research reports that when UK consumers believe your company has a strong purpose they’re:
- 3.9x more likely to purchase from you
- 4.2x more likely to trust your brand
- 5.1x more likely to recommend you to friends and family
- 6.9x more likely to protect your brand in the event of a misstep
Porter Novelli backs this up. Its Purpose Perception Implicit Association Study says 62% of people consider your company’s purpose when making a purchase. And 78% of people are more likely to remember your company if you have a strong purpose.
Reason #6: Employees want to work for companies that have a strong purpose.
Purpose makes it easier to attract, engage, and retain talent all the way around. There’s a ton of data to back this up.
- Qualtrics surveyed 500 employees in the UK to find that 68% of them believe their employers should invest in social and charity initiatives. And 58% are more engaged at work when this is the case.
- PwC’s Putting Purpose to Work report shows that 53% of people are energized knowing about their company’s impact. And Millennials are 5.3X more likely to stay with a company when they have a strong connection to their employer’s purpose.
- Babson’s Corporate Responsibility report reveals that engaging in socially valuable projects cuts employee turnover in half.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 60% of global employees choose a place to work based on their beliefs and values. And Porter
- Novelli says that people are 78% more likely to want to work for a company that leads with purpose.
Reason #7: Investors expect companies to prioritise the triple bottom line.
It appears that everyone cares about company purpose—executives, employees, consumers, and even investors. Once upon a time, investors only cared about profits. But Edelman says that 88% of investors today consider ESG metrics as much as operational and financial performance.
If your business is trying to increase investor appeal, purpose is a good place to start.
Thousands of businesses are stepping up to the plate
At ActionFunder, we understand the importance of corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and creating purpose-driven organisations. It’s why we’ve joined the ranks of 5,000 other companies and become a certified B Corp.
It’s also why we built a community engagement platform that makes it easy for UK businesses to demonstrate their purpose by investing in local communities. Because we believe that businesses and communities can create a powerful impact together.
Get inspired with data from our infographic.
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