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What data and evidence is there for a "better", more purpose driven approach to business?

We know instinctively that a more sustainable approach to business is better for the world. But a substantial body of evidence illustrates it is also good for the business itself. For starters, an ever-increasing amount of capital is being invested in businesses with this approach, with $1Billion+ having been invested in B Corps alone (see: "Who is investing in B Corps?"); perhaps not surprising when machine learning analysis of B Corps shows them to be favourable investments.

Below is a sample of the data that can be sourced from universities, corporates, financial institutions, business press, think tanks etc. It is divided into two lists:

  1. “Restored Workplaces": companies that have changed their culture and governance structures to be fit for the C21st.
  2. “Typical Workplaces”: companies where the business model remains unchanged from a traditional approach.

For more, look at: “Why should I believe that a new way of working should succeed?”

Restored Workplaces

4x revenue growth

Kotter, Forbes

2.5x revenue

Hay Group Study

3x market return

Great Place To Work Poll

93% of CEOs say it would be easy to recommend something that pursues empathy.

Business Solver

30% more enterprising

Global Innovation 1000

50% less employee turnover

Great Place To Work Poll

2.3x fewer sick days/year

Roger Herman, The Social Workplace

3x more productive

Great Place To Work Poll

30% higher customer satisfaction


147% outperformance


93% proud of their employer

Great Place To Work Poll

100% more unsolicited job applications


50% fewer accidents

Roger Herman, The Social Workplace

87% tie empathy to performance


70% prioritise empowerment

Society For Human Resource Management

82% culture is comp. Advantage


87% want long-term employment

Great Place To Work Poll

76% of execs say sustainability contributes to shareholder value


64% of Millennials won't take a job from a firm with strong sustainability credentials

Cone Communications

88% Millennials say work more fulfilling if can contribute to ESG issues

Cone Communications

83% millennials more loyal to companies with strong ES credentials

Cone Communications

76% millennials consider ES when looking at job opportunities

Cone Communications

89% millennials expect hands-on environmental opportunities

Cone Communications

87% customers would purchase products based on advocacy


18% higher ROE for including climate change management


50% lower ROE volatility for including climate change management


21% greater dividend growth for including climate change management


50% more likely to successfully expand into new markets if purpose-driven

Global Giving

40% consumers seek purpose-driven companies


66% global consumers pay more for sustainable goods


50% SEMEs see cost benefits from sustainable business


Typical Workplaces

87% not engaged


34% plan to leave in next 1yr

Dynamic Signal

47% not inclined to innovate

Global Innovation 1000

60% don’t know their org’s goals

The Muse

20% feel the system is working for them

Edelman Trust Barometer

32% trust business leaders to tell the truth

Ipsos MORI Trust in Professions

88% leave for non-money issues

Leigh Branham, 7 Hidden Reasons

80% of sen.managers no passion

Fit Small Business

13% would recommend their employer

Roger Herman, The Social Workplace

2x more likely to die of cardiovascular disease

BMJ Medical Journal

125,000 excess deaths/year

Huffington Post

$130Bn excess costs/year

Prof. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford Business School

Dying for a Paycheck

76% looking to leave if feeling unvalued

Dynamic Signal

$11Bn/yr employee turnover cost

Forbes & Bureau of National Affairs

3% feel key to the organisation

Roger Herman, The Social Workplace

12% of executives say their company has the right culture


90% can point to a risk that triggered sustainability commitment


70% of EBITDA at stake from sustainability risk


89% businesses indicate sustainability issues carry financial risk


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  1. John Featherby

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