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What evidence is there that purpose-led businesses outperform?

We might instinctively believe 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 $2Billion+ having been invested in B Corps alone (see: "How are investors engaging with B Corps?"); perhaps not surprising given the performance of B Corps (see: "What evidence is there that B Corps outperform?")

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

90% of people have a positive view of spirituality - Ian Mitroff

88% of customers would purchase from purpose led company - Cane/Porter Novelli

66% of customers would switch to a purpose led company - Kantar

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 - Forbes

147% outperformance - Gallup

93% proud of their employer - Great Place To Work Poll

100% more unsolicited job applications - Forbes

50% fewer accidents -  Roger Herman, The Social Workplace

87% tie empathy to performance - Businessolver

70% prioritise empowerment - Society For Human Resource Management

82% culture is comp. Advantage -  Deloitte

87% want long-term employment - Great Place To Work Poll

76% of execs say sustainability contributes to shareholder valueMcKinsey

64% of Millennials won't take a job from a firm with strong sustainability credentialsCone 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 - Forbes

18% higher ROE for including climate change management - CDP

50% lower ROE volatility for including climate change management - CDP

21% greater dividend growth for including climate change management - CDP

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

40% consumers seek purpose-driven companies - BBMG

66% global consumers pay more for sustainable goods - YourCause

50% SEMEs see cost benefits from sustainable business - Lloyds

4x more likely to buy from a purpose led brand - Zeno Group

87% would buy on the basis of supporting social issues - Shaun Frankson

6x more likely to protect a brand in difficult times - Zeno Group

4.5x more likely to champion a purpose led brand - Zeno Group

4x more likely to trust a purpose led brand - Zeno Group

Typical Workplaces

87% not engaged - Gallup

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 themEdelman Trust Barometer

32% trust business leaders to tell the truthIpsos MORI Trust in Professions

88% leave for non-money issues - Leigh Branham, 7 Hidden Reasons

80% of sen.managers no passion - Fit Small Business

50% of working parents have turned down a job because it conflicted with family life - Council of Economic Advisers

13% would recommend their employer - Roger Herman, The Social Workplace

75% of customers believe CEOs should be leading on change rather than governments - The Drum

66% of customers see transparency as an important buying trigger - Accenture

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 - Deloitte

90% can point to a risk that triggered sustainability commitment - McKinsey

 70% of EBITDA at stake from sustainability risk - McKinsey

89% businesses indicate sustainability issues carry financial risk - WBCSD

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  1. John Featherby

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