About The Purpose Project

What is a purpose-led business?

Purpose-led businesses have a clear focus on making our world a better place, through the products and services they sell and how they operate.  They are improving people’s lives and our environment.  These for-profit companies can be any size, from start-ups to multinationals, and come from a wide-range of industries.

To be included as a Purpose Project case study, we’ve identified companies that are based in Atlantic Canada where we could see evidence that their products and operations improve the wellbeing of people, communities and our environment in some tangible way. Their purpose is more than just words on a poster – it informs the company’s business strategy and day-to-day decision making.  They could be at any stage of their purpose journey, from being founded with a clear purpose to transforming into a purpose-led company along the way.

What are the business benefits of being purpose-led?

Here’s what just some of the research says:

Attracting talent and customers: employees and customers are more likely to choose, and stick with, companies that are making our world a better place

  • Millennials are nearly twice as likely to have made a purchase because of a brand’s environmental or social impact, and three times more likely to work at or apply to a company because of its stance on issues (Morgan Stanley, 2017);
  • 80% of executives said purpose helps increase customer loyalty (EY, 2017).

Growing revenue and investment: purpose-led companies are outperforming on the stock market and offer less risk for investors.

  • Meaningful brands outperform the stock market by 206% (Havas Group, 2017);
  • Investing in sustainability has usually met, and often exceeded, the performance of comparable traditional investments (Morgan Stanley, 2015);
  • Companies that adopted environmental and social policies significantly outperformed their counterparts and had lower stock volatility over an 18-year period. (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2012);
  • Millennials are twice as likely to invest in companies or funds that target social or environmental outcomes (Morgan Stanley, 2017).

Innovation and R&D: purpose-led companies are innovating in their products and operations by finding new ways to tackle social and environmental challenges while creating efficiencies and saving costs.

  • In organizations where purpose is a driver of strategy and decision-making, executives reported a greater ability to deliver revenue growth and drive successful innovation and ongoing transformation (EY, 2017).

Why is The Purpose Project needed?

Atlantic Canada has a growing number of purpose-led businesses.  However, many of us don’t know a lot about who they are, what motivates them and the benefits they are seeing for both their business and our communities.

Evidence has been building for over a decade about the benefits of purpose-led businesses, from being better at attracting talent and customers, to growing revenue and investment, to innovation and R&D.

Atlantic Canada’s economic development agenda is well known.  What we find interesting is that the benefits of purpose-led businesses match the things we need to do to stimulate economic development in our region and create a sustainable future for our communities.

So, for the first time we’re shining a spotlight on purpose-led businesses in Atlantic Canada.  We’re sharing their stories on our website over the next few months and we will be launching a report in the Fall of 2018 that will explore how these companies are contributing to our region’s economic development agenda.

Who is involved with The Purpose Project?

The Purpose Project is an initiative of Upswing Solutions.  We work with companies and organizations to develop purpose-led strategies, measure their progress and tell their stories.  For more information visit www.upswingsolutions.net

A big thanks to the Atlantic Canadian companies that have shared their insights about being a purpose-led business and the benefits they are seeing for people, our environment and our economy.

And another big thanks to Charmaine Dymond for her amazing copywriting skills!

How can I receive your free report?

The Purpose Project report will be launched in the Fall of 2018.  It is free and will be available for download on this website.  You can sign-up to be notified when the report is ready here.