Back in January Laurence D. Fink, the founder and chief executive of BlackRock, wrote a letter to investors and business leaders notifying them that their companies must adopt a sense of corporate social responsibility if they want to continue to receive support from BlackRock. For those of you that don’t know about Laurence Fink or BlackRock, check out this New York Times article that lays out just how much pull Fink has in the world of business and investments. For a bit of context, his firm manages over $6 trillion in investments, making BlackRock the largest investment firm in the world.
Taking a stand this bold is something that corporate businesses have never seen before but that’s not to say that it’s a negative thing. There has been an increased awareness of social responsibility in America amongst citizens and Fink argues that companies must follow suit. Fink states “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Honestly, we couldn’t agree more.
According to a Forbes article we recently stumbled upon, millennials are becoming increasingly involved in philanthropic causes year after year. The generation also makes up about 35% of the workforce, making them the largest generation in the United States workforce. In addition, 87% of total Americans are more willing to purchase a product due to a company’s involvement in philanthropy, according to a Cone Communications survey, and millennials are more likely to research the issues a company advocates for and the extent of the company’s involvement with said issue. With all of that being said, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to appeal to this generation, not only for their bottom line but to attract potential new employees.
There are many ways in which companies can shift to a more socially responsible mindset. Take BlackRock for example, they have an entire section on their website called BlackRock Responsibility. Here they outline their commitment to being environmentally sustainable, taking care of their employees or human capital, and having high standards in terms of ethics and integrity, amongst other things.
If CSR is something that interests you, but you don’t know where to start, we have some suggestions for you. Check out Shine by JouleBug, an app created by some dear friends of ours, specifically to help companies with sustainability. You can also find local events or races that are supporting a cause, become a sponsor, and encourage employees to participate. Lastly, as a shameless plug, check out our app GoodBookey and get some folks around your office to place bets in support of their favorite charity. However you choose, we’re encouraging you to take steps toward being more socially responsible, for the sake of your business and our community.