Solving the most pressing issues of our time has a colossal price tag. Today, the global impact investing market has reached $502 billion – which is excellent – but that’s nowhere near the $5 to $7 trillion that’s needed to achieve the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals over the coming decade. Whether it’s feeding the 821 million undernourished people around the globe, or preventing the million plant and animal species that are at risk from going extinct – our imminent challenges are too vast and too expensive for governments to solve alone.
The good news is that more CEOs are realizing their companies can play a significant role to address these challenges. In fact, research by YPOshows 93 percent of leaders agree business should have a positive impact on society beyond pursuing profits. What’s more is that three in four respondents acknowledged they have changed their perspective on the role of their leadership over the past five years by looking at the impact of their company on society at-large, not just their shareholders.
In light of these challenges, it’s critical for companies to identify and stand up for causes that meet their customers’ expectations and align with their business goals. In the age of purpose-driven business, CEOs must prioritize social impact, but more importantly, they need to show how their business practices create tangible change to positively impact the world.
CEOs: It’s Time To Take A Stand
There’s a growing sense of urgency for companies to give back to society given the imminent threat of issues like climate change and social inequality. This, coupled with the public’s diminishing trust in the government, is another reason why more people are turning to businesses. With only 17 percent of Americans who say they can trust Washington at all, more people are turning to CEOs, expecting them to use their voice and platforms to advocate for social causes.