September has arrived. The strangest September we can almost all remember. But September means beginnings for most of us. In the midst of the return to routine September brings us beginnings. What beginnings await us this year? Are there going to be big disruptions in the business world in this different autumn? How do we prepare?
These are some of the inertias that we are already detecting and that we believe will be consolidated in the coming months.:
1. Impact investing will weather the storm better
From a financial perspective, impact investment funds are demonstrating better performance and greater resilience than other funds. This reality reinforces the importance of this type of investment, making it a lever for the transformation of the entire business sector.
2. Consumers are changing their consumer preferences
And that change is accelerating with the pandemic. While there will continue to be major inconsistencies in consumer buying habits and the duality - convenience/ immediacy versus sustainability/impact - will remain, the trend towards more sustainable products and services is gaining momentum.
3. The European roadmap to a sustainable economy
The European Green Deal, together with a Just Transition mechanism that will allocate EUR 100 billion over the period 2021-2027 to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the transition to a low-carbon economy, will drive the transformation of business.
4. Business as a key player in the recovery
The idea that business has a leading role to play in the recovery is gaining momentum. In the face of unprecedented economic uncertainty, many companies are becoming the reference point for their employees, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders.
5. The professionalisation of purpose
Only 7% of Fortune 500 CEOs believe their companies should "focus primarily on making profits and not be distracted by social goals. For while capitalism has catalysed enormous progress, it has struggled to address complex issues such as climate change and inequality," according to McKinsey's study. "Purpose: Shifting from why to how".
6. Short-term vs. long-term revenue generation
The economic impact of COVID in many sectors of activity will require that the corporate social impact actions that are implemented are more focused on generating immediate income in the short term, minimising costs. This means moving away from traditional CSR activities, which in many cases act as a cost centre, towards actions with a direct impact on improving the bottom line.
The world we are moving towards will undoubtedly be different from the one we have known so far. Company executives have the opportunity to rethink and reimagine their purpose and the role their companies will play in the future. They can continue with their traditional lines of business or explore new business models that are more adapted to the new habits and preferences of consumers, who will undoubtedly have changed and who will demand that purpose and social impact are at the heart of their activity.
This will drive the company's transformation towards corporate social impact.
Who will succeed?
All signs point to the success of those companies that manage to incorporate sustainability and purpose at a strategic level in the organisation and turn it into a competitive advantage.
In the face of short-termism, rigour and measurement
During the pandemic, many companies have put in place actions to support their stakeholders according to their needs. It is now time to put structure and rigour in place to ensure that these efforts do not remain a short-term, contingency exercise and to make the business sector more resilient in the long term.
It is also time to value their contribution to society by measuring the impact generated and acquiring tangible commitments in the medium and long term with society and the environment.
In any case, we see clearly that what matters is consistency and coherence. This is not the time for Green Washing. It is the time for values and purpose. In capital letters. From the inside. From the top. In every process. In every department. Throughout the value chain. Implemented professionally and from within the organisation. To resist. To move forward. To improve. Find out more at our blog!