Purpose and the Global Goals

Embedding purpose in business strategy to meet the Global Goals

At Business in the Community (BITC), we campaign for businesses to have a purpose beyond profit. In order for this to be successful and authentic, it must be embedded into core operating models and governances.

Your business’ purpose, or reason to exist beyond profit, is the foundation for achieving your sustainability goals, and should inform your responsible business strategy. Your strategy should also be shaped by and drive progress on the United Nations’ Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

we can help you embed purpose in your organisation and drive progress on the global goals

Key facts

  • 2021 saw decades of progress towards the Global Goals halted or reversed. The extreme poverty rate has risen for the first time in 20 years. Inequalities within and between countries have been exposed and intensified and the climate crisis persists1.
  • Over three quarters (77%) of chief executive officers (CEOs) say their business’ purpose provides a clear framework for making quick and effective decisions2.
  • Investors believe a company with a social purpose will add 30% to its value3.

What are the Global Goals?

The Global Goals provide a shared blueprint to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. They recognise that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth. All while tackling climate change and working to preserve oceans and forests.

Why does this matter for businesses?

We believe that business can be a force for good when we come together. By being purpose-driven and considering the positive impact your business can have on environmental and social factors, we can accelerate progress to meet the Global Goals.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing pressure from investors and other stakeholders, businesses have made progress on the responsible business agenda, but there is still much work to do. BITC inspires, engages and challenges businesses to be purpose driven, taking practical action and mobilising their collective strength to meet the Global Goals. Our workstreams focuses on helping businesses embed purpose deeper within their core business strategy and commercial decision-making.

Our objectives

BITC asks businesses to consider four dimensions of ethical, responsible decision making to help them embed purpose deeper within their core business strategy and commercial decision-making.

1. Enabling business to embed purpose into core business operations

Campaigning on the importance of businesses having a purpose beyond profit. Sharing understanding on how to take this further than just a statement, and to make it real and authentic by embedding it into your core business and operations.

Resources to help you take action
  • Report: Embedding Purpose: lessons from business outlines actions that are helping BITC member companies in their purpose journeys. This report contains inspiration and practical lessons to help you, wherever your organisation is on its purpose journey. It discusses how to embed purpose across the areas of people, culture, and structure. The report has been produced by McKinsey in collaboration with BITC.
  • Report: Purpose Beyond Profit: the business case. This sets out the commercial benefits for taking a purpose-led approach. The report looks at the foundations for purpose and how to put it into practice in your business.
  • Toolkit: Developing and Embedding Your Purpose (BITC member only) shares practical steps businesses can take to develop purpose and embed it into their organisations. You can also read case studies to discover how some of the organisations we work with are embedding purpose into their business
2. Supporting businesses to use the Global Goals to guide decision making

Supporting businesses in understanding what the Global Goals are and how to use them as a strategic framework in commercial decision-making.

Resources to help you take action

3. Engaging with non-executive directors to improve governance of responsible business

Working with non-executives directors (NEDs) to use their influence to engage organisations on the responsible business agenda. Join our roundtable series or work with our Advisory Services Team to further develop your business’ work in this area.

Resources to help you take action
4. Guiding businesses on how to communicate on ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors and responsible business

With rapidly changing expectations of listed companies on ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors, we are working with businesses to support them in communicating their responsible business strategies to investors and other stakeholders.

Resources to help you take action
Next steps
  1. Take part in the Responsible Business Tracker® to assess the extent your businesses is integrating responsible business into your business model, as well as the social and environmental value you are creating.
  2. BITC can support you to embed purpose into your core operating models and governances. We can also advise on how the Global Goals can shape your strategy. BITC members can contact their Relationship Managers for further information. If you do not know their contact details, log in to MyBITC to find them. If you are not a BITC member contact our Advisory Service Team.

we can help you embed purpose in your organisation and drive progress on the global goals