Companies are often a hub for ingenuity and creativity, adapting to solve some of the greatest challenges that we face.
We saw during the pandemic how companies responded and adjusted to support staff and customers in unprecedented circumstances. As we face multiple crises that affect people, place and planet - in the UK and Internationally – the scale of the changes that are coming down the track as a result of the climate crisis, biodiversity collapse and deepening inequality is becoming increasingly apparent. Companies will play a role in defining how society looks in future.
What is unequivocal in 2022 is that the workforce and customers have much higher expectations of businesses to be stronger corporate citizens. There is a default expectation that companies should have an opinion and stance on key issues. ESG is a term regularly bandied around in corporate circles but many have conflicting views of how that resonates with them and the role of ESG in their business. From the health and wellbeing of teams, to ensuring staff have the appropriate knowledge and capabilities, to the environmental impact of a supply chain, ESG covers a broad spectrum of business activities.
Released at the beginning of 2022 the 22nd edition of Edelman’s Trust Barometer revealed some interesting trends around businesses’ social impact. The report highlighted that all stakeholders are holding business to a higher account. The survey stated that the public want businesses to do more, not less, on societal issues. Climate change, workforce reskilling and economic inequality were all factors that scored highly. This is supplemented by a recent PWC report that stated 86% of employees prefer to work for companies that care about the same issues they do.
ESG is now firmly established at the top table of corporate decision making, being of an ever-increasing importance to CEOs and boards. Edelman’s Trust Barometer also revealed 88% of institutional investors subject ESG to the same scrutiny as operational and financial considerations and that 78% of the public said CEOs should be personally visible when discussing public policy with external stakeholders or work that their company has done to benefit society. Investors and shareholders are influencing the conversation at this level to ensure that companies are transparent in demonstrating progress.
Edelman’s report reinforces the trend of increased demand and transparency around ESG from all stakeholders, with global events provoking reflection for companies’ future visions. COP26 was a catalyst for many organisations to address their impact on the planet, with recent research stating 82% of the FTSE 100 have pledged to reach Net Zero by 2050. The pandemic became a reflective period for many companies to look at their impact on society, particularly for the communities they serve and their staff. The RSA is engaged in these issues at a global scale. Through our new Design for Life strategy, we are working to create interventions to help equip the world for the future challenges and have a positive impact on the ESG issues that face companies globally.
In this context we’re delighted to launch our Corporate Membership network at the RSA. Our ambition is to establish a network of like-minded ambitious and progressive organisations, united by shared values to enabling people, place and planet to flourish. Our aim is for all companies as part of the network to have a seat at the table. As the RSA builds on nearly 270 years of social impact, we will work in partnership with organisations to ensure that world-leading ideas turn in to world changing actions. We will do that by ensuring our Corporate Members are an active part of of the RSA's collective global community of changemakers, participating in the wide variety of initiatives on offer.
Working with your account manager we will work with companies to identify a year-round calendar of activities to engage and inspire all elements of your organisation.For example, our series of public events, including our high profile Albert Medal and President's lecture, cover a broad range of subjects that will provoke and stimulate discussion for your teams.
Our network of Corporate Members will be truly global. For those that can’t travel to our London based RSA House we will link up your teams through the RSA’s networks to curate a series of events across the UK and Internationally, allowing people to join wherever they are based. Reflecting the global nature of our Fellowship we will have regular in person and digital events taking place around the UK but also in USA, Oceania and around the world.
By being part of the network, companies will benefit from the RSA’s ongoing work across our strategy and gain from unique insights and research that can help shape your businesses’ future plans. Through access to events, workshops and talks from the brightest and most courageous minds we invite your business to be part of the discussion. We will host a series of exclusive networking events for partners to hear from our teams and work with you to highlight the work of your organisation through our networks, including our Fellowship and digital channels.
But the RSA isn’t all about work! We let our hair down too. Through Corporate Membership you will be able to use RSA House as a collaborative meeting place and receive invites to upcoming events such as our prominent ‘An evening with…’ series and live arts and culture events. As an award-winning event venue, RSA House is an incredibly flexible space and we can work with our event’s team to host your private events too. Christmas party season is just around the corner…
The money donated through our Corporate Membership will enable the RSA to continue leading the agenda in ESG issues and generating essential solutions. These issues have never been more crucial to people, place and planet and we invite your company to join us as we continue our journey.
For more information about the Corporate Membership programme you can get in touch via [email protected] and join our unique network of like minded changemakers.
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