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Supporting Research (aka, The Business Case)
Starting with “The Jury is in, the call to action clear…” and throughout this site, fact based statements are made to drive home both the necessity and corresponding value of sustainability, philanthropy and engagement strategies. It’s important to me that supporting data is as fresh as possible, especially given the fast changing social and economic environment. You don’t have to look far to find recent studies. There are plenty of socially responsible companies who have stayed the course long enough - and through tough economic times - to prove out the business case. That’s good news for all of us!
Here are the top sources of supporting documentation for statements made on this site:
- Harvard Business School The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behavior and Performance November 2011
Key Excerpt: “Findings for an 18-year period show that High Sustainability firms dramatically outperformed the Low Sustainability ones in terms of both stock market and accounting measures. However, the results suggest that this outperformance occurs only in the long term. Managers and investors who are hoping to gain a competitive advantage in the short term are unlikely to succeed by embedding sustainability in their organization's strategy. Overall, the authors argue that High Sustainability company policies reflect the underlying culture of the organization, where environmental and social performance, in addition to financial performance, are important, but these policies also forge a strong culture by making explicit the values and beliefs that underlie the mission of the organization.”
Key Excerpts: "Workers who are able to make Social or Environmental impact are more satisfied on the job 2:1. 58% of college students (undergrad and MBA) state 'I would take a 15% paycut to work for an organization with values like my own."
Key Excerpt: “Three-fourths of entrants into today’s workforce evaluate firm’s environmental and social responsibility records prior to choosing an employer of preference. To maintain a competitive advantage in the battle for talent companies must deliver a more robust package than ever before. And that holds not only for attracting talent but retaining it as well. The Harvard Business Review followed 30 large corporations over several years and found a positive correlation between an employee’s positions on their company’s sustainability initiatives and their work- place happiness. Employees who work for companies that align with their values perform better- they have better ideas, execute those ideas better, and even develop other people better. The payoff for attracting and retaining the type of talent capable of innovating in a challenging market goes right to the bottom line.”
- SC Johnson & The Roper Organization Public Attitudes and Individual Behavior – A 20 Year Evolution 2011
Key Excerpt: "Americans Say Going Green Is (Still) Good Business - In spite of rising economic concerns, Americans still want companies to go green, and there is evidence that they give credit to companies that do so. About three in four (74%) agree ―a manufacturer that reduces the environmental impact of its production process and products is making a smart business decision."
Key Excerpts: 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about and 90% of consumers want companies to tell them the ways they are supporting causes. Put another way: More than 278 million people in the U.S. want to know what a company is doing to benefit a cause.