Why measuring impact is good business

Whether you are a social organisation whose mission is entirely devoted to creating social value for society, a company focused on delivering profit with purpose, or just want to ensure you maximise your potential to use business as a force for good, managing your impact will deliver benefits for your organisation.

Understanding and managing your impact will enable you to:

  1. Connect and build trust with customers and investors

Managing and demonstrating progress towards your social, economic and environmental goals can position your organisation as a sustainable leader and give you a competitive advantage by building trust and facilitating positive engagement with customers, investors and other stakeholders.

More and more investors see managing your social and environmental impact, and the transparency associated with reporting it, as part of a wider willingness to be proactive on risk factors and a core component of corporate strategy. This appeals to all your stakeholders, whether that be: customers seeking a trustworthy quality brand; investors looking for a financial or impact return; Partners seeking to protect their reputation; or stakeholders who procure your services.

“Two-thirds of consumers around the world say they choose brands because of their stand on social issues, and over 90% of millennials say they would switch brands for one which champions a cause” Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever

2. Deliver employee wellbeing, improving effectiveness and attracting and retaining talent

We spend the majority of our days at the workplace. The move to flexible working is blurring the boundaries further. Consequently how we feel about our jobs, for better or worse, carries over into the rest of our lives. More to the point, employees are becoming purpose driven like never before: they are intrinsically motivated if they believe that their job matters and their work will make a difference. For organisations to be able to demonstrate how much they value this point of view is not only advisable, but necessary.

According to a YouGov Poll commissioned last year by Danone, employees that work in purpose-led organisations are more actively engaged and committed to their work. Yes that’s right: happy employees are more productive.  In fact, Alex Edmunds from the London Business School has found that employee satisfaction delivers returns on stock that are equivalent to 2-3% per year.

More often than not, employees are our largest asset. Demonstrating your impact can help attract, retain and motivate them, such that they become your greatest brand ambassador.

3. Improve the performance of your impact related projects

Understanding the impact your organisation has on the environment and society will enable you to operate more sustainably and use resources more effectively. To that end, measuring and monitoring your impact can enhance performance by helping you target activities or projects that prove particularly beneficial for both profitability and social/environmental value. In effect it can inform strategy and resource allocation. It can also enable your organisation or project to be more effective and better received.

Impact management is a valuable tool for ensuring more is done better, for the benefit of society and the environment. The challenge is how to do it effectively and efficiently, and how to ensure that it is embedded into your organisation. We regularly work with clients to help them manage and demonstrate their social and environmental impact. Please get in touch if you would like to know more!

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of August 13, 2019.