Embedding social impact into the heart of business – The New Economy

Written Adaire Fox-Martin

Growing a business has never been more difficult. With the world experiencing multiple crises – a global pandemic, social injustice, overconsumption of resources and climate change – corporations need to rethink value creation. Across regions and industries, businesses should be asking what can be built on top of their core operations and mission to ensure a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world.

Successful organizations will strike a thoughtful balance. More than ever, people seek personal fulfillment from their work and take pride in being part of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Sustainability, being forward-facing and solution-focused attracts talent and deeper commitment. Simultaneously, businesses want to be more agile, resilient and innovative to deliver long-term value.

At SAP, we do not view these as distinct outcomes. Our approach is to evolve holistically and align our goals. Our defining principle puts shared values and purpose at the core of business while harnessing digital technologies. This powerful combination inspires, engages and attracts people while it unlocks innovation, agility and resilience.

Inspired people and hyper tech prowess provide the infrastructure for other avenues of positive change and expansion, such as partnering with social enterprises.

Social enterprises are ordinary, for-profit businesses that have a humanitarian or environmental mission at their core. When they make money, they direct a significant portion of their profits back into that mission. Social enterprises represent a hugely under-tapped resource for corporations to meet the changing expectations of today’s consumers, employees and investors. Partnering with, or purchasing from, a social enterprise can transform something basic like obtaining goods and services into part of the sustainable growth strategy while deepening employee pride and customer loyalty.

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By Maria Ordonez
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