Doing Good By Doing Better. The value of business with a purpose.

Program Overview


The Value of Business with a Purpose Worldwide

Increasingly, there is pressure on brands -- particularly those doing business in emerging markets -- to be cause-committed, truthful, authentic, community engaged, and morally and culturally aligned with how they can help the planet and society as a whole.

Doing Better by Doing Good, a new CMO Council initiative in 2023, will audit, identify, and showcase corporate best practices and successes in blending self-interest with altruism. It will evidence private sector commitment to ESG and sustainability progress, the benefits of CSI spend, and the value realized from improving the wellbeing of people, communities, living conditions, and micro-economies.


The CMO Council recently polled its global members on what they viewed as the essential benefit for making a stand as an ethical brand and evidencing corporate social responsibility in business. Findings indicate most senior marketers believe the biggest gain will come from furthering customer relationships and brand affinity.

Customer preference/trust                                   62%
Employee affinity/loyalty                                       28%
Financial performance/gain                                    6%
Investor confidence/support                                  4%

Responsibility for corporate ESG (environmental, social, governmental) and sustainability mapping and tracking is somewhat like ownership of customer experience (CX) in the enterprise. Defused across multiple lines of business, functional siloes and operational areas. Unfortunately, real ESG accountability and accurate reporting is still a work in progress for companies of all sizes.

Another CMO Council poll of its members on LinkedIn earlier this year reveals 84 percent of marketing leaders believe CMOs should be a pivotal leader and at the forefront of organizational strategy, delivery, adherence, and brand communications around the ESG mandate. A lesser 11 percent view CMOs as part of a team. Only a handful see the CMOs on the sidelines or not involved.

Doing Better by Doing Good: Pilot Program in South Africa

The Doing Better by Doing Good pilot program will highlight the innovation, vibrancy, inclusivity, and effectiveness of business with a purpose in the country. This program will showcase corporate South Africa and multi-nationals doing business in the country as best practice leaders worldwide and underscore the values and benefits that can be attributed to ESG commitment.

Areas of discovery and discussion with chief marketers and reputation leaders in South Africa (and abroad) will include:

  • Level of commitment, progress and comparative success by different types and size of companies (domestic and foreign) operating in South Africa.
  • Areas of priority, focus and achievement relative to addressing societal needs – empowerment, education, training, housing, healthcare, safety, security, essential service delivery, infrastructure, entrepreneurship, community development, diversity, sustainability, and the environment.
  • Forces and factors influencing and elevating CSI strategies – shareholder/stakeholder pressure, social media voice, increased governance, research studies, corporate conscience, brand reputation, business value, socioeconomic concerns, special interest groups/NGOs, etc.
  • Level of activation and engagement of key audiences and stakeholders in the organizational ecosystem, including employees, supply chain, distribution/service network and customer base.
  • Outcomes and progress relative to balancing corporate concern for people, planet, and profit – any indicators, metrics or analytics evidencing or underscoring the theme of Doing Better by Doing Good.
  • Identification and recognition of those corporates leading the way and setting the pace as stand outs, innovators and flag-bearers playing their part in South Africa’s upliftment of disadvantaged communities, at-risk constituencies, and general societal and environmental conditions.
  • Issues, challenges, complexities, and ROI/impact associated with Ethical Branding policies and practices; how to achieve organizational buy-in, participation and ownership.
  • Benefits of delivering on an Ethical Brand promise or claim; ensuring corporate behavior and brand authenticity is true, trusted, and transparent.

Engagements for this program will take place across three categories of companies that are represented on the CMO Council:

  • South African multinationals in banking, telecoms, retail, manufacturing, insurance, food and beverages, business process outsourcing, IT services, digital media, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, etc.
  • Foreign multinationals in financial services, automotive, FMCG, information technology, digital media, professional services, consulting, travel, hospitality, industrial systems, and health care products.
  • Locally based and internally focused South African enterprises and emerging growth companies across all business and industry sectors.


Curated Facts & Stats

Firms making the biggest impact in corporate social responsibility are — literally — putting their money into finding ways to make CSR vital to their brand.

Source: Fast Company

We are living in the “decade of delivery”; a time when sustainability has become not only a core strategic consideration and direction for businesses, but a driver of innovation and attractor of talent.

Source: Spencer Stuart

Over the past few years, we have seen business schools around the world start to emphasise sustainability, ethical leadership, and social responsibility.

Source: Mail & Guardian

In Africa, the key CSR drivers are trade unions. They play a significant role in labour law, working conditions, job allocation, and employee benefits among others.

Source: African Leadership

CSI needs to come from the top down, written into a business’ strategy. A ‘profit with purpose’ philosophy must be prioritised, with an emphasis on shared value.

Source: SA Good News

More than 90% of S&P 500 companies now publish ESG reports in some form, as do approximately 70% of Russell 1000 companies. In a number of jurisdictions, reporting ESG elements is either mandatory or under active consideration. In the US, the SEC is considering new rules that would require more detailed disclosure of climate-related risks and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.

Source: McKinsey

ESG is not going away, however, and the time to deal responsibly and effectively with ESG risk is now. This is especially true as investors are increasingly ready to commit to companies that take ESG seriously. Regulators, in parallel, are working towards a more consistent, comprehensive global framework, with the SEC, the ISSB and EFRAG all working on new standards.

Source: Forbes

ESG must be integrated internally and externally to an organisation. This means integrating with stakeholders to better understand their needs and expectations. If done correctly, integration allows for co-creation of new innovations with increased levels of buy-in and commitment. Source: ESG Africa Conference

Source: ESG Africa


Curated Reading