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How BlackRock created new urgency for social purpose

Companies can no longer avoid the need to identify and articulate a purpose that goes beyond making money.

Corporate trust and the development (or loss) of social licence is a hot topic for Australian corporates, and with major investors demanding companies do more this looks set to continue.

Chief among the blue-chip agitators is BlackRock, with CEO Larry Fink demanding corporates explain how their organisations contribute to society.

Here’s what he said in a letter sent this year:

“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society … Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders”.

It’s a trend we will be watching closely.

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