Centre supports general counsel in their efforts to meet growing demands from stakeholders
A resource to help businesses focus on corporate social responsibility and environmental, social and governance efforts has been launched by public strategy and communications firm, Navigator Ltd.
The Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation was announced this month to help equip in-house counsel and other business leaders with insights, tools and support as they work to redefine and strengthen the contributions their organizations make to society.
While the resource has been in the planning stages for a few years, its launch could not be more timely according to senior advisor of Navigator and CEO of the new centre, Brian Gallant. In light of significant events of 2020 such as COVID-19 and the resulting recession, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a growing concern about the climate change crisis, business leaders are increasingly facing pressure to support their stakeholders and to demonstrate their willingness to fight social injustices.
“With everything that’s been happening in 2020, there is clearly an acceleration of the conversation, either by necessity or because people are really seeing that this conversation is an incredibly important one to be having in society these days,” says Gallant, who is also a lawyer and former premier of New Brunswick. “We’ve been working really hard over the last few months to get the centre launched. I think it’s going to be something that can really contribute to the country and also help businesses that may be struggling with some of these new trends and the new responsibilities and expectations that have been thrust upon them by their stakeholders,” he says.
The Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation can help any type of business, ranging from large public corporations to small start-ups. General counsel and other C-suite executives are invited to seek guidance in auditing their performance on key metrics based on shared value, ESG, and stakeholder capitalism, while the centre will also design strategic solutions to define, advance, and implement their purpose.
Building on the findings of a landmark proprietary research study due this summer, the centre will release regular analysis and guidance for business based around the expectations of Canadians. It will use these insights to design tailor-made strategic solutions for businesses and organizations to define, advance, and implement their purpose.
“I truly believe 2020 is going to be a watermark year for what businesses are expected to do and the responsibilities they have within society,” says Gallant. “If this year has taught us anything, it’s that this is not a trend that’s going to subside. It’s really a movement that’s going to continue to gain steam and we want to help accelerate that movement.”
In the early days since its launch, the centre has already seen considerable interest, and Gallant expects that to continue. New team members for the centre will be announced shortly.