Celebrating the 2nd Annual Purpose in Business Week November 14-18, 2022

By Tessa Vanderkop, Social Purpose Strategist at United Way Social Purpose Institute

November 16, 2022

This week we celebrate the second annual Purpose in Business Week supported by public declarations from both the City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby, signaling the coming of age for social purpose in business in BC’s Lower Mainland and beyond.

A “social purpose” business, defined as a company whose enduring reason for being is to create a better world by the very act of conducting business, is on the rise.

The recent announcement by Yvon Chouinard, founder and CEO of the iconic sportswear brand Patagonia, recently declared that instead of going “public” the company was “going purpose” with Earth his only “shareholder”.

Going a step further the Chouinard family transferred all ownership of the company valued at $3 billion USD to two entities whose mandate is to protect wild spaces and to fight climate change.  

While Patagonia has raised the stakes in the social purpose business space, there are an incredible number of social purpose companies leading in the “business for good” movement right in our own backyard. Here’s a big shout-out to all the companies who have participated in UWBC’s Social Purpose Institute programs that worked and continue to work on identifying and embedding their social purpose.

We also want to highlight that three-quarters of the top performers in the Corporate Knights report, “The Social Purpose Transition Pathway”, have participated in our programs that help companies adopt and implement a social purpose as the reason they exist. As pointed out by CK, platinum recipients “were mostly companies that have undertaken social purpose training and were deeply committed to getting it right”. We are so inspired by these cohort members for their excellence in purpose execution. They include:

  • BCLC
  • Chandos Construction
  • Coast Capital Savings
  • Hemlock Printers
  • LGM Financial
  • Modo Car-Share

Whether your company already has a social purpose or is on the path to creating it, we encourage social purpose businesses and leaders to make a purpose-related announcement on their social channels this week! Use the hashtag #PurposeinBusinessWeek to continue to elevate Social Purpose into the mainstream and together we can move towards a purpose-led economy.

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