Client Case Study

Specialist Research

Communicating the Value of Corporate Purpose for Generation Foundation

 

Client profile

Generation Foundation is an advocacy initiative focused on promoting sustainable capitalism. Funded by profits from Generation Investment Management, the group has considerable clout in the investment management space. Generation Investment Management was founded by former US Vice President Al Gore and former Goldman Sachs Head of Asset Management David Blood.

The challenge

Generation has partnered with KKS on a number of investment-related research projects. For this project, Generation sought assistance with a research focused on the value of corporate purpose - what does it mean and how can it be authentic?

Many companies are now seeking a way to signal their purpose; their reason for being beyond profits. In doing so, some companies have chosen to become certified B Corps or adopt alternative legal forms, such as the Public Benefit Corporation. But why do companies choose to signal their commitment to society and what are the potential mechanisms to do so? 

Our solution

Our research suggests that the answers to these questions lie in understanding the nexus of purpose, authenticity, trust and value. Purpose could drive customer, employee and investor choices as long as that purpose is authentic. If the company’s purpose is authentic and this is understood by stakeholders, they trust the company and could make choices accordingly. This creates value for the company and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Key outcomes

We find that organizations adopt different ways to signal authenticity, which has implications for how these organizations are valued. Research by KKS led to a report entitled “The Value of Corporate Purpose: A Guide for CEOs and Entrepreneurs,” which has been widely circulated in the impact investment community.