Purpose-Led Business

We help organisations define, articulate, embed and measure purpose, realising value for both the bottom line and for society

Overview

‘Purpose’ has recently gained huge momentum – influencing the thinking of businesses, investors, governments and regulators. In a fragmented world, characterised by mistrust and division, there is a growing acceptance that businesses need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Businesses can respond by understanding and delivering on their purpose in society. Those that do so will see faster growth, more engaged employees and improved stakeholder relations.

There’s growing acceptance that purpose is a commercial imperative amid evidence of a strong link between purpose-driven companies and strong financial performance. In order to thrive in the short and long term, organisations need to define their ambition for purpose, then articulate, demonstrate embed and track it.

What is purpose?

Purpose is an organisation's reason for existing beyond just the financial. It sets out why the organisation matters, building on its core, differentiating capabilities, and articulates the value of the organisation to wider societal stakeholders.

A corporate purpose should create value for both shareholders and stakeholders, and be the means by which a business generates profit. It is core to what an organisation does, and key to the business’ strategy and operating model.

“We know that talking about our purpose is one thing, living up to it is another. It should inform everything we do, especially in times of change and uncertainty.”

Emma Cox Head of Purpose

We believe there are five key areas of value that companies successfully engaging with purpose are uncovering – in addition to the overarching societal benefits:

Improved decision making

More motivated employees

Improved customer engagement & brand

Better relations with investors

Managed regulatory risk

How we can help on purpose

Purpose definition, articulation and value discovery

Define purpose beyond the financial, articulate it to stakeholders and understand the value it can unlock when embedded in strategy

Purpose-driven workforce: culture and behaviour transformation

Create an aligned, shared vision for purpose that delivers value through a motivated, productive workforce and wins the battle for talent

ESG measurement and reporting informed by purpose

Measurement and articulation of impact in a way that resonates with investors and other stakeholders – for corporates and for funds

Situations where PwC can support on purpose

Transformation: Navigate major change with purpose

Where purpose acts as a ‘north star’ for a successful change programme – guiding key decisions

Deals: Create and preserve value in deals through purpose

Purpose protecting value of a deal by driving strategic and cultural alignment, and informing non-financial (especially ESG) metrics

Reporting: Fulfil regulatory requirements in reporting on purpose, culture and ESG

As required by regulators, capital markets and other stakeholders

Navigating COVID-19 through the lens of Purpose

COVID-19 has thrust purpose into the spotlight, as the relationship between companies, government, society and the public is critical for our clients, and there’s intense expectation on businesses to be part of the solution to the challenges arising from the pandemic.

This document advises businesses how to use purpose to navigate the crisis, and to use it as a platform for long-term transformation, building a business for the future with purpose acting as a guide for key decisions.

Download

Leading by example

At PwC we have been on our own purpose journey since 2016. Our purpose is to "build trust in society and solve important problems".

Guided by our purpose, we have been transforming the way we work and deliver our services to future proof our business.

We focus on outcomes in the key areas where we feel we can make a positive impact on society. We do this through the work we do with our clients, and how we run our core operations, our supply chain and our community engagement activities.

For more information please visit Our Purpose page

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Contact us

Our team of purpose experts have experience providing strategic advice to senior leaders to help organisations realise the value of purpose. They can also draw on further multi-disciplinary subject matter expertise across PwC.

Emma Cox

Head of Purpose and UK Leader Sustainability & Climate Change, PwC United Kingdom

+44 (0)7973 317011

Email

Brenda Trenowden CBE

Partner, Diversity & Inclusion Consulting, PwC United Kingdom

+44 (0)7483 329718

Email

Wallace Rosenberg

UK Purpose Client Lead, PwC United Kingdom

+44 (0)7973 499554

Email

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